Posts Tagged ‘Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’

Richards Reappointed CEO of SEPTA

May 31, 2023

Leslie Richards has been reappointed as general manager and CEO of Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

She has been given a new four-year contract that will extend her appointment through January 2027.

Richards began as SEPTA’s general manager and CEO in January 2020. Previously she had served as the head of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

SEPTA noted in a news release that Richards once served as a member of the SEPTA governing board.

Keystone Line Service Restored Monday

April 3, 2023

Rail passenger service was restored to Amtrak’s Keystone Line in Pennsylvania on Monday after a storm brought down catenary that had to be repaired.

Disrupted by the storm damage were Amtrak’s Keystone Service trains, the New York-Pittsburgh Pennsylvanian, and commuter trains of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Those trains were cancelled on Sunday and some trains did not operate Monday morning. Service had been restored by noon on Monday.

Amtrak operated a bus bridge for Pennsylvanian passengers between Harrisburg and Philadelphia with trains operating Harrisburg-Pittsburgh, and New York-Philadelphia.

The heaviest damage occurred near Radnor, Pennsylvania.

SEPTA Pauses Expansion of Norristown Line

March 19, 2023

Work on extending the Norristown High Speed Line in Philadelphia has come to a screeching halt due to lack of funding.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said the four-mile extension to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is being paused after the Federal Transit Administration declined to approve a grant for the project.

A SEPTA news release also cited rising costs due to inflation and high interest rates as other factors that led to the project being halted.

In declining to provide a grant for the project the FTA said it had concerns over whether SEPTA would be able to come up with its share of the project costs.

That included covering cost overruns for the project, which has ballooned from an estimated $2.08 billion in August 2020 to $3.02 billion today.

“SEPTA’s capital budget has been underfunded for decades,” SEPTA CEO Leslie S. Richards said in a statement. “This has left the Authority with significantly fewer resources than peer agencies to pursue system expansion while also addressing critical infrastructure needs. With the funding we have currently, SEPTA must prioritize essential infrastructure work and safety and security improvements to maximize the reliability and effectiveness of our aging system.”

SEPTA said it has spent about $53 million so far on the project since 2012.

SEPTA Rail Contract Being Reviewed

February 28, 2023

The Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched an investigation into the procurement of new rail cars by the Southeast Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

SEPTA awarded a $138 million contract to China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation to build 45 rail cars.

The OIG audit will review whether the contract violates the Federal Transit Authority’s Buy America requirements for the acquisition of rolling stock.

In a news release, the USDOT OIG said the audit will examine FTA’s oversight of SEPTA’s certification of CRRC’s adherence to Buy America requirements, and SEPTA’s calculation of the total value of foreign components. The audit is expected to begin in the coming weeks.

Alstom Gets Contract to Build SEPTA Trolleys

February 25, 2023

A Philadelphia public transit agency plans to buy modern trolley cars that will be fully accessible.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority awarded a $714 million contract to Alstom Transportation for the new cars, which the agency said would comply with standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Alstom will build 130 cars with an option for 30 additional vehicles. Delivery of the new trolleys is scheduled to begin in 2027 with full fleet delivery by the end of 2030.

In a news release, SEPTA said the new cars will be longer and have a higher capacity than existing cars.

The new cars will have low floors and ramps, wider pathways, audio and visual messaging systems, and designated open space for wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and bikes.

SEPTA Awards Contract for Extension Design Work

February 25, 2023

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has awarded a contract to a consultant to design the final phase of the King of Prussia Rail Project.

HNTB Corporation received the $125 million contract for the project that involves extending the Norristown High Speed Line by 4 miles into King of Prussia.

In a news release, SEPTA said the design work will advance the engineering and architectural design from 30 percent complete to final design, which is required for the project to be eligible for funds from the New Starts Capital Investment Grant program of the Federal Transit Administration.

SEPTA has allocated $390 million for the project in its 2023 capital budget and hopes to obtain a federal grant to fund up to 60 percent of the project cost.

If funding can be secured, construction is expected to get underway in 2025.

1 Hurt in SEPTA Derailment

February 7, 2023

One woman was taken to a hospital after a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority rapid-transit train derailed Saturday night.

The derailment occurred just before midnight on the Market-Frankford line, SEPTA’s most used transit route.

Although SEPTA said the cause of the derailment remained under investigation, a broken rail discovered during track work after the derailment may have been the cause.

The derailment occurred just before midnight and involved a train carrying 100 passengers.

It occurred between the 2nd Street and Spring Garden stations. The third car of the six-car trainset jumped the rails.

The line is normally closed for maintenance between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. However, service wasn’t restored until 10 a.m. on Sunday.

The woman taken to a hospital reported having knee pain. There were no other injuries.

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.