Transit Dispatches

Contributing bloggers discuss a variety of topics geared toward the transit and motorcoach sectors.

Posts Tagged With: SEPTA

Selling Naming Rights Helps Transit Stay in the Game

Across the country, limited capital budgets are forcing transit agencies to find creative ways generate revenue to address their perpetually growing list of needs. Every dollar counts. Selling naming rights for properties (and routes, like Cleveland’s HealthLine) is one option for generating new income. In Philadelphia, SEPTA just announced its second station renaming — Jefferson Station, which serves SEPTA’s Regional (commuter) Rail in downtown Philadelphia.

Tackling Rail Maintenance 'Blitz'-Style to Minimize 'Down' Time

Maintenance and construction projects can present quite the conundrum for transportation organizations with rail operations: shut down a major portion or entire line in one shot to get the work done while offering substitute service for riders? Work overnights and weekends for long stretches of time? One solution to the maintenance/construction puzzle is the “blitz” — a balancing act between productivity and customer inconvenience.

Providing Service for Those Who Served

When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America hold the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Philadelphia from August 12-17, SEPTA will have the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to those who have served the Armed Forces. The Authority will provide transportation for the more than 500 veterans with spinal cord injury, amputations and neurological disorders that will travel to Philadelphia from across the country and the United Kingdom to compete.

Testing whether Night Owl rail services can 'fly'

Those who depend on mass transit believe that service should be available 24/7 so that they can get to where they need to go, whenever they need to get there. In New York, MTA customers can hop on the subway 24 hours a day. In Chicago, CTA riders can use the Blue and Red “L” lines around the clock. But in cities like Boston and Philadelphia, major service lines and routes are not always all that convenient in the early hours of the morning — until now.

The dangers of ‘distracted commuting’

Over the past year, SEPTA officials have responded to a few track fall incidents each month. Surveillance cameras often show people — some talking or texting on their phones or otherwise distracted — walking past the yellow warning strip and landing into the track area. To decrease these incidents, SEPTA is making distracted commuting the focus of its second annual “Make the Safe Choice” Safety Day.

50 years of public transit milestones and memories

In the public transit world, 1964 marked the world’s first high-speed rail network, driverless train and California breaking ground on the BART system. It was an important year for public transportation in Philadelphia, too. On Feb. 18, 1964, the organizational meeting that established what is now the nation's sixth largest transportation agency —SEPTA — was held.

Winter wreaks havoc, leaves transit weary

The winter of 2014 was relentless, with its deep freezes, ice storms, record snowfall, torrential rain and mudslides. The end of the season will be welcomed by transportation organizations across the country, especially in Philadelphia, where SEPTA’s service was impacted by 16 storms and weeks of extremely frigid temperatures.

SEPTA steps up to fight human trafficking

Transit can play a role in helping to stop human trafficking, considering the number of people using it 24 hours a day. SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel was recently joined by representatives from local social service agencies and a former human trafficking victim to discuss signs of the crime, law enforcement efforts and how the public can help.

Keeping the transit jobs pipeline flowing

Jobs in the transportation industry can be highly specialized, requiring employees to have very specific training and numerous certifications. Transit systems can ensure that the workers they are hiring are well-prepared for open positions by partnering with technical schools to collaborate on curriculum and create a pipeline of qualified job candidates.

A true ‘hub of hope’ for those in need

When the frigid weather makes it too hazardous to stay outside, many homeless seek shelter in train stations, bus depots and other public facilities. SEPTA has partnered with an organization that works to end homelessness to create the "Hub of Hope," which offers a variety of services and housing, especially for those experiencing long-term street homelessness.

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Author Bio

Heather Redfern

Public Information Manager, SEPTA


Marcia Ferranto

President/CEO, WTS International

Marcia Ferranto is President/CEO of WTS International.


Scott Belcher

President and CEO, Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America)


Joe Zavisca

Joe Zavisca is an independent consultant specializing in paratransit service.


Paul Mackie

Communications Director, Mobility Lab

Paul Mackie is communications director at Mobility Lab, a leading U.S. voice of “transportation demand management.”


Rob Taylo

Founder/CEO SinglePoint Communications

Rob Taylo is founder/CEO of SinglePoint Communications, an exclusive U.S. distributor of WiFi in Motion.


Joel Volinski

Director, National Center for Transit Research at CUTR/USF


Zack Shubkagel

Partner/Creative Director of Willoughby Design

Zack Shubkagel is partner and creative director for the San Francisco office of Willoughby Design, a strategic branding and design firm.


White Papers

Factors in Transit Bus Ramp Slope and Wheelchair-Seated Passenger Safety Nearly 3 million U.S. adults are wheelchair or scooter users1, and as the population ages this number is expected to rise. Many wheelchair users rely upon public transportation to access work, medical care, school and social activities.

Mass Transit Capital Planning An overview of the world-class best practices for assessing, prioritizing, and funding capital projects to optimize resources and align with the organization’s most critical immediate and long-term goals.

The Benefits of Door-to-Door Service in ADA Complementary Paratransit Many U.S. transit agencies continue to struggle with the quality of ADA service, the costs, and the difficulties encountered in contracting the service, which is the method of choice for a significant majority of agencies. One of the most basic policy decisions an agency must make involves whether to provide door-to-door, or only curb-to-curb service.

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