West Philly chinwag

July 29, 2011

chinwag (noun) Light informal conversation for social occasions.

The idea of this site has always been conversation – about the news and about the neighborhood. “West Philly chinwag” is a conversation starter. Drop a rant, a rave or a well-reasoned comment below.

trolleyToday’s topic:

SEPTA ridership is at its highest level since 1989. Gas prices probably have something to do with it, but SEPTA officials surmise that the increase has much more to do with the increase of young professionals in the city. Folks took some 13 million more trips on SEPTA this year over last year. The overwhelming majority of those trips, 12 million, were on SEPTA’s “City Division” – city buses, subways and trolleys.

Are you using SEPTA more? What do they need to do to lure you aboard more?

8 Comments For This Post

  1. JoAnna Says:

    1. Septa needs better internal communication. These pile ups at the 40th st portal could all be avoided of the trolleys would quickly divert to the MFL.
    2. Better communication with riders. Tell me what is happening. I plan my life around transit. Respect that my time and plans rest in your transit service.
    3. Stop discriminating against my trans siblings!!! This one is majorly important. Do you know how hard I roll my eyes when I read your statement of non-discrimination on the wall of the trolley. M-F stickers do not cut down on pass sharing. The pass labels only serve to harm trans folks. Get it together! The current system is embarrassing to the city.

  2. JK Says:

    Definitely quit with the M-F stickers, this has made national LGBTQ news and is just an embarrassment. Why are they necessary? Who knows.

    But also on the idea of passes- let’s get rid of tokens and get on to multi-ride passes already! Sick of losing tokens- swearing I have them, dropping them, etc. I want to be able to buy passes that are good for X many rides so I can plan ahead but not commit to buy a pass for a whole month. For casual riders and not commuters, this would finally allow a wallet-easy solution to stop being so annoying.

  3. AMC Says:

    More user friendly payment options– where can one buy tokens in west philly? And more kid friendly situation; are stroller allowed?

  4. DM Says:

    Tokens. I use 40+ tokens a month for my commute, because SEPTA is too silly to make a reasonably-priced pass. And buying tokens is inconvenient: most SEPTA stations don’t even sell them–how ridiculous is that? They pay someone to sit in a booth reading the paper, but that person can’t sell tokens or passes?

  5. stephanie Says:

    tokens for sale are available at the fu-wah for $1.75. i love tokens, and i’ll be bummed when they go away, but SEPTA really needs to get with the program and sell “METRO” passes – not monthlies, just a swipe card (yes, transferable! i said it!) for as little as 5 bucks.

    collapsible strollers are allowed. i’ve seen a stroller as big as a BOB on the trolley – though, they were pretty lucky it wasn’t the usual crowded saturday midmorning.

    Children traveling alone (without a fare-paying adult) are charged regular adult fares.

    City & Suburban Transit | Bus, Subway, Trolley and Norristown High Speed Line
    Free anytime | Up to two children, age 4 or under, traveling with a fare-paying adult
    Additional children are charged the base fare.

    Remember | Exact fare is necessary at the fare box or cashier booth.

    Regional Rail
    Free anytime | Up to two children, age 4 or under, traveling with a fare-paying adult
    50% of the (A) or (B) weekday fare | Additional children, traveling with a fare-paying adult

  6. April Says:

    For the most part, I LOVE SEPTA. However, I would like it if drivers could attempt to enforce the courtesy their signs suggest. I am ashamed when I see my fellow riders sit while old ladies, old men, women/men with babies stand. I understand the drivers aren’t police, but people do listen to them and a generic “folks, please allow our older passengers to sit” would probably go quite far.

  7. Elisha Says:

    It really does need to be easier to buy fares. It’s absurd that someone is sitting in the booth at every El station and they can’t even sell me a token, let alone a pass. They can’t even make change, so if you don’t have an exact $2 when you’re away from home you’re pretty much screwed. At least put token and change machines in more places. With the crime rate what it is around some of the El stops, it’s completely not right that I’ve been turned away late at night and been told to walk two blocks out of my way to the nearest open corner store that can make change.

    With rider numbers so high, I think it’s also time SEPTA looked into increasing service on some routes. There have been many times I’ve chosen to wait and take a walk around Center City because I knew it was a time of day when all the trolleys and buses would be so packed I didn’t even want to ride. Rush hour is one thing, but when all the trolleys are crowded to the point people can’t get on at 7 or 8 pm it’s time to add another car or two to the route.

  8. Julie Says:

    I’ve gotten used to the bizarre, antiquated fare system. I’ve gotten used to the subterranean mazes. I’ve gotten used to the incredibly rude co-passengers, the colorful wardrobes, the chaos of it all.

    I feel like service is relatively good, in coverage and frequency, during weekday business hours. Weekend and late night is a joke and we always have to plan to take a cab home if we can’t walk because of the cut-off times.

    These things I can forgive.

    I will never get used to, forgive, or plan around the rude, sometimes cruel, careless, inept SEPTA employees. If there is no token machine, and I have a $5 bill, why can’t the person getting paid $18/hr to sit in an air-conditioned box give me $3 back? Why can’t they tell me they can’t make change instead of staring at me and pointing to a sign? Why is every question I ask the dumbest thing a SEPTA employee has ever heard? Why does every window have different hours, different fare instruments to sell, and different capabilities to take cash/make change/take debit card? If my pass is defective, why is the only window that can replace it the customer service desk at 15th St?

    I swear, they find SEPTA employees at anger management meetings and carefully select those who are failing. I once saw a driver try to incite a passenger into assaulting him (both, obviously, were in the wrong) by screaming obscenities out the after the passenger got off.

    The only exceptions I’ve seen are the regular bus drivers of buses in North Philly (not NoLibs, actual North Philly). Once, he even got out to help someone push a broken-down car out of the street.

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