Posts Tagged ‘Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’

SEPTA Names Chief Safety Officer

January 30, 2023

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has appointed Ronald Keele as its chief safety officer.

He will lead the development, monitoring and necessary adjustment of SEPTA’s plan to “ensure a safe and healthy environment for all employees, riders, and community members,” SEPTA said in a news release.

That includes development of methods to measure the Authority’s safety performance and establish programs to routinely involve executive leadership in safety planning.

Keele comes to SEPTA from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority where he held a similar position as a safety officer.

SEPTA Signs Pact to Aid Minority Businesses

January 14, 2023

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has agreed to make it easier for minority-owned companies to do business with the public transit agency.

The 11-page agreement, which also was signed by the Chicago Transit Authority, states that businesses that gain small business enterprise certification for one of the agencies will be certified for the other agency.

SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards said during the signing ceremony that Philadelphia has a higher proportion of poorer residents than most major U.S. cities.

Therefore minority-owned businesses could benefit from the agreement, which makes it easier for them to obtain government contracts.

Work Underway on Construction of New Amtrak, SEPTA Station in Coatesville, Pennsylvania

January 8, 2023

Amtrak, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority have begun work on a new $65 million station in Coatesville, Pennsylvania.

The station, located on Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor, is expected to open in fall 2025.

It will be located just east of the existing former Pennsylvania Railroad depot.

In a news release, PennDOT said work to build a foundation for the south platform is underway and will continue through this year.

That work will be followed by construction of platforms and elevators and stair towers on the south side of the station.

The project will create station that complies with all standards of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Amtrak owns the existing station building and leases it to the City of Coatesville. It has been closed for more than 25 years.

The existing station is located on a curve so some track relocation is being undertaken as part of the project.

Officials said that was necessary because ADA-compliant platforms cannot be built on a curve.

The new station will be located along Fleetwood Street between Third and Fourth avenues, and feature 530-foot-long high-level accessible platforms with canopies and seating; stair/elevator towers; an audio-visual public address system and security cameras; bicycle racks; and expanded surface parking.

SEPTA currently does not serve Coatesville, but has expressed interest in extending Regional Rail commuter service from Thorndale to Coatesville “in the near future.”

Funding for the project is being provided by PennDOT, Chester County, the City of Coatesville, the Coatesville Redevelopment Authority, and Federal Transit Administration.

3 Transit Systems to Get Federal Station Improvement Grants

December 20, 2022

Public transit systems in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are among the recipients of grants from the Federal Transit Administration to be used to modernize stations and improve their accessibility.

The agencies are sharing in $686 million being awarded to 15 projects. The grant funding is coming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Greater Cleveland Transit Authority will receive $8 million to rebuild its East 79th Street rapid station to make it more accessible.

The 1920s era station will receive new ramps, concrete platforms, rail crossings, warning panels, canopy-covered concrete stairs, upgraded emergency call boxes, and slip-resistant walking surfaces.

Pittsburgh Regional Transit will receive $24.4 million to make the Bethel Village, Westfield, St. Anne’s, and Shiras stations on the Red Line ADA accessible. Station improvements will include installing a high platform for level boarding, shelters on the boarding platform, ramps, accessible signage and auditory support.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $56 million to make its 11th Street subway station on the Market-Frankford Subway Line and the Chinatown, Erie, Fairmount Upper Level, Fairmount Lower Level and Snyder stations on the Broad Street Subway Line accessible.

The stations were built in the early 20th century. Work will include installing elevators, general station upgrades, ramps, and making path of travel improvements.

Pa. City Eyes Pop Up Metro Service

December 7, 2022

A Pennsylvania city wants to use the Pop Up Metro concept to provide commuter rail service to central city Philadelphia.

The West Chester Borough Council said this should be used in lieu of conventional rail service.

The council supports a study to be conducted by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Chester County of the Pop Up concept, which uses battery-powered cars that are owned by Rail Development Corporation.

The cars would use existing rails for 8.5 miles between West Chester and Wawa. At the latter point passengers would connect with SEPTA regional rail trains.

The projected cost of using the Pop Up service would be $16 million compared with $380 million for conventional rail service.

The transit time between West Chester and Wawa would be 12 minutes with a travel time of 64 minutes to center city Philadelphia. Bus service between West Chester and Philadelphia now takes 94 minutes.

The rail line to Wawa needs to be rehabilitated, which has been estimated to cost $7.6 million.

Leasing costs for the Pop Up Metro cars would be $5 million for two years.

SEPTA Pilot Program Seeks Increased Safety

November 19, 2022

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has agreed to a contract with ZeroEyes to create a pilot program to reduce gun-related violence on rail station platforms.

SEPTA is the first major public transit agency to use ZeroEyes, although that company’s work has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Defense, public school districts, Fortune 500 companies and universities.

ZeroEyes uses proprietary technology to identify those brandishing guns and alerting police and other security personnel to come to the scene.

SEPTA said the ZeroEyes program will supplement and not replace its own existing security efforts. The project is expected to begin in about two months.

ZeroEyes bills itself as the only artificial intelligence-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the U.S. Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation.

The company employs former military and law enforcement specialists who monitor every detection from an operations center.

In announcing the contract with ZeroEyes, SEPTA officials said the agency does not perform any facial recognition, nor receive, record, store, or share videos or images of any person.

SEPTA Board President Pasquale T. Deon Sr. said the agency has 30,000 cameras throughout its system.

The pilot program will use existing SEPTA cameras at stations along the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines.

Cleveland RTA Receives TOD Grant

November 18, 2022

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will receive a grant as part of a federal $13.1 million Transit-Oriented Development Planning program.

RTA will use the $315,000 grant to develop its proposed Broadway Avenue Corridor project, a multi-modal planning project that will incorporate bus rapid transit with bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

The Federal Transit Administration, which announced the grants, said the grant to Cleveland RTA will increase bicycle and pedestrian access to transit hubs, recommend ways to incorporate green infrastructure, and analyze ways to revitalize commercial and housing opportunities near transit stations.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Public Transportation Authority of Philadelphia will receive a $300,000 grant for planning and analysis of Route 11 and 13 trolley services in the Darby and Yeadon boroughs in Delaware County.

The project will support trolley revitalization, study how best to develop the area, support pedestrian and bicycle access, and plan for ways to address flooding and electrical infrastructure issues.

The FTA awarded funding for 19 transit-oriented development projects nationwide, including 12 that were rail related.

An FTA news release said the TOD program seeks to enable “communities plan for opportunities created by new transit stations, such as affordable housing; economic development; and better connections to schools, hospitals, stores and restaurants,”

Projects “must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership potential, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations,” according to FTA officials.

The program was launched last May with most of the grant recipients saying they will use the funding to address homelessness within their planning proposals, FTA said..

SEPTA Makes 100th Anniversary of ‘Frankford EL’

November 15, 2022

SEPTA recently marked the 100th anniversary of the Frankford elevated section of the Market-Frankford line.

The line connects Northeast Philadelphia with Center City and is SEPTA’s most heavily used line.

The line stretches 13.5 miles with 28 stations. The travel time between Upper Darby/West Philadelphia to Frankford in lower Northeast Philadelphia in 45 minutes.

The original Market Elevated Railway Line opened March 4, 1907, with six miles of track for service from east to west from 69th Street to City Hall at 15th Street.

The Frankford extension stretched the line from Old City to Bridge Street in Northeast Philadelphia.

In a news release, SEPTA said that when construction of the 6.5-mile Frankford section line began in September 1915 it featured such innovations as concrete in the support beams to reduce vibration and noise from passing trains. Another innovation was railcar doors that automatically retracted if they bumped a passenger.

During the 1970s construction of Interstate 95 through Center City Philadelphia resulted in some changes to the “Frankford El” as it is called.

The line was relocated to the highway median and a station at Spring Garden replaced the old Fairmount station. The line was then rebuilt between 1987 and 2000.

SEPTA Releases Safety and Security Plan

October 8, 2022

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has released a plan to address safety and security concerns for those who are homelessness, and or have substance abuse and mental health issues.

In a news release SEPTA said the number of those with these issues has grown, which prompted the public transit agency to launch its Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnership and Engagement  program last year.

The most recent plan lays out a strategy to confront the problems SEPTA is facing and describes what riders, employees, policymakers and local business owners can do to help.

SCOPE outreach personnel work with the SEPTA Transit Police Department, which has increased patrols on trains and at stations in recent months.

No Injuries in CN, SEPTA Derailments

September 30, 2022

No injuries were reported in derailments of Canadian National and SEPTA commuter trains.

The CN derailment occurred at 7:30 a.m. in Warren, Michigan, a suburban of Detroit and involved 12 cars leaving the rails.

The derailment snarled traffic during the morning rush hour.

News reports indicated that three of the derailed cars were tank cars carrying liquid chlorine and unrefined alcohol but they remained upright.

One of the cars was reporting to be leaking slightly but emergency officials said this did not pose a public hazard.

The train had 151 cars. Officials said the cleanup could last several days and traffic will continue to be disrupted.

Bus service on two routes was disrupted after a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority train derailed late Wednesday morning as the train left the Trenton (New Jersey) Transportation Center.

The second and third cars of the four-car train bound for Philadelphia left the rails.

The train had 25 passengers aboard. New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor trains to Trenton were also affected by the derailment and were experiencing delays of up to an hour.

SEPTA suspended service between Philadelphia and Trenton while the train was re-railed and removed.

Five trains were cancelled and service issues continued into Thursday morning with trains cancelled in each direction. Other trains were delayed up to 10 minutes.