Beginning November 29th, 2015 Take Pottstown Area Rapid Transit, Give Back

In the spirit of the holiday season, Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) is pleased to announce our “Take PART, Give Back” Campaign!

Beginning November 29, 2015 PART will be collecting donations to benefit the Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities and Operation Backpack. PART is pleased to partner with these organizations to help build the supply of food and goods available to those in need in our local community.

How can you PARTicipate?

By riding on one of PART’s Special Sunday Shopper Days! Every Sunday beginning November 29th, 2015 through December 20th 2015 from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., bring your donation on board a PART Transit Bus and ride for $1.00! *Applies to Adult Base Fare ONLY

During the Tri County Area Chamber of Commerce Holiday Mixer & Business to Business Expo on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Norco Fire Company, 144 W. Schuylkill Road, Pottstown, PA 19465. Bring your donation to the event and receive a PART Holiday ornament!

The Pottstown Cluster of Religious Communities is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization providing a multitude of programs related to food security, clothing and housing assistance, and other supportive services. Activities are intended to “address the basic human needs of persons within the Greater Pottstown community, while assisting with their spiritual and social needs.”

The Cluster is currently in need of dry goods including laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaners, paper towels, and toiletries. Canned goods including fruits, vegetables, soups, tuna fish, and tomato products are also in high demand.

Operation Backpack is a 501 c3 nonprofit organization, providing food to students in the greater Pottstown community who would go without over the weekend.  The organization works to “help homeless and hungry students succeed by addressing the issue of childhood hunger.” The organization works with individuals and organizations to gather ready to eat items to fill backpacks distributed to participating schools at the end of each week.  Operation Backpack is currently in need of prepackaged tuna, macaroni and cheese, soups, pasta, cereal, granola, breakfast bars, crackers, juice, and water.

As a public service, PART takes great pride in providing safe, affordable, and reliable quality transportation to the Borough of Pottstown, Lower, West, and Upper Pottsgrove Townships, Limerick Township, and North Coventry Township.

Please help PART Give Back! Questions? Contact Erica Batdorf at 610-970-6515 or

Or visit our website at

SEPTA Plans To Spend $154 Million On New Locomotives

SEPTA plans to spend up to $154 million for 18 new Regional Rail locomotives, the authority’s biggest railroad acquisition in a decade.

The electric locomotives would replace eight aging engines operating on the Lansdale-Doylestown, Paoli-Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington-Newark lines, and add capacity to other regional lines.

The SEPTA board is expected to approve the purchase on Thursday, with the locomotives to be delivered in 2018.

SEPTA is buying 13 “Cities Sprinter” ACS-64 locomotives to be built by Siemens Industry Inc., the German conglomerate, at its factory in Sacramento, Calif. The price includes an option for five additional locomotives.


Refurbished Rail Cars Finally Roll On PATCO

PATCO finally rolled out the first of its refurbished rail cars Thursday morning, with local officials promising the $194 million overhaul will mean new levels of comfort, safety and reliability for commuters who travel between South Jersey and Center City.

The rebuilt cars, with new interiors, electronics and heating systems, are more than a year late returning to service from a factory in Hornell, N.Y., because of persistent problems fine-tuning an automatic signal system that gives operating instructions to the trains.

All systems, including new visual and audio station announcements, appeared to work flawlessly Thursday on the first train’s inaugural trip from Woodcrest station in Cherry Hill to the subway stop at 8th and Market streets in Center City.


Money-Saving Consultants Have Cost SEPTA $2.8 Million, Invoices Show

Looking for ways to save money, SEPTA has paid about $2.8 million to a Boston-based consulting firm, including payments of more than $500 an hour to some specialists.

In the process, FTI Consulting Inc. has used 24 of its staffers, some of whom have collected more from SEPTA than the transit agency’s highest-paid official, general manager Joseph Casey, who makes $273,000 a year.

The meter is still running, with additional payments expected to continue through the end of the year.

SEPTA hired FTI in February 2013 through a no-bid contract to help the transit agency reduce legal costs arising from injury claims.


Transportation Challenges Rife As Pittsburgh Focuses On Making Fixes

Lori Minetti often feels stranded in her Carrick home.

The closest bus stop used to be across the street. Now it’s almost a mile away, because Port Authority of Allegheny County eliminated the 50 Spencer route four years ago.

She walks one of the farthest distances a city resident must go to catch a bus. It seems even farther to Minetti, who has an arthritic back.

“It’s kind of cloistered me,” said Minetti, 48, a former temp for Downtown companies who no longer works. Her husband uses the couple’s only car for his job as a maintenance worker in Munhall.

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Montco Invites Public To Come Hear About The Exciting Future Of Transit In Montgomery County

Norristown, PA – Montgomery County, in partnership with SEPTA, Greater Valley Forge Transportation Management Association, The Partnership TMA, and TransNet, is presenting “Your Transit Dollars at Work” on Thursday, April 16, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the Whitemarsh Township building, 616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill.

The event will focus on the exciting future of transit in Montgomery County. Representatives from the Montgomery County Planning Commission, SEPTA, and local transportation management associations will be on hand to present information, answer questions, and listen to comments.

Participants will have an opportunity to learn about SEPTA’s draft capital plan with station improvements and system upgrades, current commuting alternatives, and Montco’s plan for the future as highlighted in Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County’s nationally awarded new comprehensive plan.

The public is invited to participate and see the impressive vision plan for transit in Montgomery County and to discover what new transit funding is doing for county citizens. Additional information and online registration are available at Montgomery County’s new comprehensive plan is available at Please contact Crystal Gilchrist at 610-278-3734 or via email at with any questions.

Study: Reopening PATCO ‘Ghost Station’ Will Cost $18.5M

The estimated cost to reopen PATCO’s long-shuttered Franklin Square subway station in Old City will be at least $18.5 million, a new study says.

That’s about 50 percent more than transit officials expected.

The study, requested last year by PATCO’s parent Delaware River Port Authority, estimates 1,300 riders would use the station each day, but that nearly all of them would be current riders who now use the 8th and Market Street station.

The DRPA has been considering reopening the “ghost station” beneath Sixth and Race streets for years, and the agency included $500,000 in its current capital budget to reexamine the issue.


The Lonely Road To Work

The vice president of finance spends his time doing it listening to the radio, most preferably BBC Radio 2, the station he grew used to listening to when living in the United Kingdom.

The attorney recalls doing work and reading the paper while so engaged, except for the time that someone died.

The contractor said he was able to sleep and hold a book at the same time while he was doing it, and the construction supervisor has learned to calculate the amount of time he’ll be involved in it down to the minute — depending on the time of day he gets started.

What is it? The mundane but almost necessary practice of commuting to work.

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Another Delay For New PATCO Cars

PATCO’s long-delayed rebuilt commuter cars won’t be rolled out this month as planned, as continuing glitches in signal systems have forced another delay, PATCO officials said Tuesday.

Last month, PATCO executives had said the first eight of 120 refurbished cars would be put into customer service in February.

But PATCO president John Hanson said Tuesday, “They’re not going to be ready by the end of this month.”

PATCO is withholding millions of dollars in payments to Alstom Transport Inc. while the manufacturer tries to fix the problem, Hanson said.


NY Times: Millennials Driving Apartment Boom In Wilmington

Wilmington is becoming quite the hot spot for young professionals.

In Delaware’s largest city, about 30 miles south on I-95 from Philadelphia, the downtown is expanding with several hundred apartments on the way.

These new apartments, profiled in a New York Times article this week, are aimed at millennials who are “driving increased demand for city-center living, car-free commutes and transit oriented development in cities around the country,” the article states.

To build these residential units, developers are taking vacant or underused buildings and either demolishing or renovating them.


PennDOT To Study Creating Northeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority

Northeastern Pennsylvania public transit riders may eventually take buses directly between Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, rather than having to transfer to a different bus in Pittston to make the trip.

Lackawanna and Luzerne County officials envision new travel options — like a direct bus link between the cities — among many benefits of merging several mass transit agencies in both counties into a single Lackawanna-Luzerne Regional Transportation Authority.

The state Department of Transportation hired consultant HNTB Corp. to study the move, which would create the state’s third largest transportation authority. The cost of the study was not available Monday.

If it happens, Lackawanna and Luzerne county officials foresee having more clout to attract state and federal grant money to improve Northeastern Pennsylvania’s transportation network for buses, the region’s growing rail industry and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.

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TCN Membership Meeting

Pottstown: A Community on the Move

Learn about the ways Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (PART) is coordinating with nonprofit organizations, Bike Pottstown, and SEPTA to expand the level and quality of transportation services in the greater Pottstown area.

Presented by Erica Weekley, Assistant Borough Manager


Kourtney High, Grants Administrator

Tuesday, January 20th, 8am-10:30am
Montgomery County Community College, West Campus

South Hall Community Room
101 College Drive, Pottstown


Join a TCN Committee.  Committees will meet 9am-10:30am.

Caregivers Support  Community Partners Against Abuse  Environmental Health & Safety  Homeless Services  Workforce Development  Youth Development 


    Registration required. Click here to register or call 610-705-3301, Ext. 2.

RRTA, Berks Transit Merger Complete

It is the state’s largest transit merger, and it is now official.

Lancaster County officials and Red Red Rose Transit Authority leaders took a little trip just over the Berks County line Thursday morning to meet with their Berks counterparts — and celebrate a transit consolidation nearly a year in the making.

They have established the new South Central Transit Authority to oversee both the Lancaster-area RRTA and the Berks Area Regional Transit Authority.

The RRTA name and logo on buses, as with BARTA in Berks, will not change, and the public may not notice much of a difference, transit official David Kilmer said Thursday, “We’re on a good track, and ready to move forward,” said Kilmer, who was named executive director of the new SCTA, which will oversee operations of both RRTA and BARTA.

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Easton Business Owners Excited About Parking, Patrons From Intermodal Center

The photographer was snapping, the baby was smiling and the mother was beaming. Everything was running smoothly at Time Photo Studios in Easton’s Centre Square until the mother brought the shoot to an abrupt halt.

“She had to run down to Second Street to feed the meter,” said studio co-owner Tara Hawthorne.

Customers won’t have to worry so much about parking when the new intermodal center opens at 123 S. Third St. The 350-space parking deck is blocks away from businesses like Hawthorne’s, and the business community says its customers and employees will appreciate new parking options.

“People can go Downtown and not worry about getting a parking ticket,” agreed Pasquale Crisci, owner of Antonio’s Pizzeria across South Third Street from the new intermodal center.

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Light Up Night, Games, Shows, Concert To Attract 400,000 To Downtown Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh from Mt. Washington

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership expects more than 400,000 people to jam Downtown on Friday night as Light Up Night coincides with a Penguins game, WPIAL championships at Heinz Field and a crowded Petersen Events Center in Oakland likely triggering traffic headaches and a parking shortage.

The Andy Warhol Bridge will close at 9 a.m.; the Roberto Clemente Bridge will close at 10 a.m., both remaining closed until midnight. A host of roads Downtown will close in the afternoon.

“With Light Up Night, we encourage people to use public transportation. People can look at parking on the North Shore and taking T,” said Leigh White, vice president of marketing and communications for the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

“There’s a lot of different, good options like parking at Station Square. People can come in early and have dinner, and it’s a great day to take in other things around town.”

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Public Meetings Set To Air SEPTA Rail Extension Of Norristown High-Speed Line To Upper Merion

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomer...

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA – Residents in both Upper Merion and Norristown will be presented this week with four alternative routes to extend the Norristown high-speed rail line into Upper Merion in a proposed, $500 million, SEPTA rail project.

Both meetings will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday. The Upper Merion meeting on Monday will be held at the Radisson Hotel at Valley Forge, 1160 First Ave. and the Norristown meeting on Wednesday will be held at Norristown municipal hall, 235 E. Airy St.

Byron Comati, director of strategic planning and analysis for SEPTA, will present the four alternative routes winnowed down from 16 route variations. He will be joined by project manager and engineer Elizabeth Smith, an AECOM consulting engineer and Burt Cossaboon, a vice president of McCormick Taylor.

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Amid Ridership Surge, SEPTA Trains Are Packed

English: personal photo

English: personal photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SEPTA is shuffling equipment and workers to try to deal with chronic crowding problems on Regional Rail trains, as ridership rises and old cars and locomotives break down more frequently.

Even the 120 new Silverliner V cars that have arrived since 2010 to replace 73 old cars have not solved the overcrowding issue.

About 15 percent of SEPTA’s rail cars are out of service on any given day, while passenger counts are up 4 percent from last year and 50 percent from 15 years ago.

“The trains are so full that it’s even hard to find room to stand,” said Katrina Claghorn, a dietitian who commutes daily from Wayne to 30th Street Station. “It started getting bad over the summer, and now the trains are packed when they pull into 30th Street Station on the Paoli line.”


High Hopes For $38 Million Project In Pleasantville

Map of New Jersey highlighting Atlantic County

Map of New Jersey highlighting Atlantic County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. – This down-on-its-luck stepsister town to neighboring Atlantic City has struggled economically for decades, languishing without a redevelopment plan or the ability to attract private investment.

But a $38 million project that includes two apartment buildings and retail space on a vacant Main Street block is expected to set the cornerstone for economic growth and expanded development in the Atlantic County city, according to Jacqueline Amado-Belton, economic development director for the City of Pleasantville.

“We feel like we have borne the brunt of a lot of issues that have spilled over from Atlantic City over the years,” Amado-Belton said. “In terms of perception and other factors, it’s been a struggle and a challenge to get to this point.”

The Pleasantville City Center, expected to be completed by next summer, will add 135 apartments and 18,000 square feet of retail space and will be bordered by Main Street, Washington Avenue, Milan Avenue, and South Second Street.


Changes Coming To Lancaster And Berks Transit, But A Combined New Authority Won’t Look Different To Bus Riders

Picture 565Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit Authority board took its first formal step toward a merger with Berks County’s BARTA system on Wednesday.

But the combined South Central Transit Authority will be indistinguishable from the present RRTA and BARTA.

“We’ll form a new authority and nobody will know the difference,” RRTA Executive Director David Kilmer said.

The single authority will operate RRTA and BARTA buses in their respective counties. The names on the buses will not change, nor will their colors.

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