Posts Tagged ‘Septa’

Day Pass Shenanigans

I really like the SEPTA One Day Convenience Pass, or as us public transit folks call it, a “day pass”.

You pay $6 and get to use it on the bus, subways, trolleys, and the El up to 8 times in one day. So, if you’re takin’ the bus, then the train, then the El, then the bus again to your destination and the bus, the El, the train, and the bus (third base!), it’s pretty damn useful. Really awesome if you wanna see the historical sights of the greatest City in the land and save some gas money/parking stress.

Just watch out for inept SEPTA ticket window people or the “One Day Convenience Pass” will become the “Half Hour Pain In The Ass”.


Expand The R2 Schedule, The Magic Voice, & Other SEPTA Musings

Oh, SEPTA. How I missed thee. Sure, people here may complain but – come on – could it get any better than riding a bus or a train or a subway and actually see OTHER people riding it, too?


Easy-to-use SEPTA

Broad and Walnut

Have you seen the new SEPTA signs? I noticed this a few weeks ago; the signs in the photo here are located at Broad and Walnut Streets (the first one I spotted) but there are also posted at 13th & Market, 15th & Market, 18th & JFK, 19th & Market, and 15th & Locust.

The first thing I thought when I saw the sign was “T? Like in Boston?” but the lines of the T do look a bit like rail lines, so I guess it’s an interesting design choice.

What I like more than the huge posts are the signs on the stairwells, explaining the lines and connections that can be made at the station, and the exit orientation signs, giving directions and street intersections. Have you ever come up from the subway feeling disoriented? Well, maybe not if you’ve been riding for years, but occasional riders and tourists probably don’t know which is the northeast corner of Broad and Walnut just standing around in the concourse.

If you’ve seen the signs and have any comments about them, there is a survey for SEPTA and PATCO users to submit.

Do you think these signs will be useful? What would you do differently, or do you think the city’s had a good idea with these?

Free iced coffee while you wait. And wait.

Yesterday was quite the day for a rail commuter. Dunkin’ Donuts had their free iced coffee promotion, and the timing was perfect. While some franchise locations struggled with lines down the block, the location in the regional rail corridor at 30th street station had it down. They prepared several iced coffees in advance, of both the black and cream and sugar variety. When customers came up for their freebie the staff asked “Cream sugar?” and were met with their cup of choice immediately. Nary a line formed, not even during the evening rush.

Meanwhile, the regional rail lines themselves struggled with major signal problems. All of the trains were delayed, platforms were packed, and once riders were on their trains they were further delayed with stop signals. Commuters might have been very cranky. Dunkin Donuts to the rescue! Free plastic cups of caffeinated goodness kept the grouchies away. Everyone sucked away on their orange and purple straws, building a nice caffeine buzz to help stave off irritation at being stuck in the middle of their ride home. Again.

Even I joined in the fun, which was especially interesting as I never drink coffee. I zipped around the apartment until nearly 10 before realizing I’d yet to eat dinner and came very closing to missing Lost. In the meantime, though, I installed a networking card in an old computer, set up airport wireless, made a chart of potential garden perennials, and researched half of the bathroom contents on the Skin Deep database.

Slightly more productive than I previously was.

Wanna know where the buses run?

Most people that commute on SEPTA—even if they like the service, even if they defend SEPTA every step of the way—know that its website is a joke. It’s bulky to navigate, the schedules are hard to read, and advisories are sometimes out-of-date. Oh and forget about maps!

Many other transit agencies have been sending their information to Google to participate in the Google Transit site, but SEPTA is not one of them. Also, while other transit websites are upgrading their online experiences swith interactive maps (like the MBTA in Boston, oh what a website!), we get stuck with the Trip Planner. Seriously, have you ever tried to use that thing?

Based on the awesomeness that is the NYC Subways Map, for the past year or so I’ve been working on my own version of a SEPTA transit map between my full-time and freelance jobs; however, it’s mostly been just a programming lesson in using the Google maps API with PHP and Javascript. I’ve got the BSL, MFL, and the Patco Speedline, but I haven’t even finished all the regional rail routes yet!

But the other day I ran across’s Transit Maps! Not only does it have everything I’ve been working on, it also has bus routes. Yes, bus routes. All bus routes. On a Google map.

It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen in a while. I almost cried.

I-95 Shut Down

If you have anywhere for the next two days take to the rails. I-95 is shut down between Girard and Allegheny Avenues due to a crumbling support column. Rush hour was an incredible mess this morning, and will likely be for the next two days as well. Sadly, alternate routes include the already jammed Sure-kill Expressway (76). Check out the Inquirer’s map for more alternates, or use your local regional rail, subway or trolley.

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