DVARP is excited to announce a new initiative! We are looking for SEPTA and PATCO riders from every line and as many stations as possible to e-mail us 2 or 3 weekly observations about their station or ride. This is a hyperlocal approach that speaks to our mission of improving mass transit service in the Delaware Valley. We’ve partnered with a few Patch outlets (Collingswood, Mt. Airy, and Doylestown) to get the word out about this, and have encountered plenty of interest in those areas so far. Yet, we want to cover the entire Delaware Valley rail system. To this end, if you’re interested in e-mailing us 2 or 3 weekly complaints, commendations, interesting observations, etc about your train ride, shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your observations can be as short as a sentence each or as long as you’d like, can be done in sentences or bullet points, and can be submitted in the body of an e-mail (no need to worry about Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc).
If this initiative turns out to be successful, we will expand the effort to buses, the Market-Frankford and Broad St. Subway Lines, and trolleys. We will relay concerns and commendations to SEPTA and PATCO.
Once again, if you’re interested in participating or have any questions or comments, shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com. Let’s work together to improve local rail and transit service!
DVARP is progressing nicely with our mass transit funding campaign, although we are still waiting for APTA to make their first disbursement. We now have a draft script for our first YouTube video, which will address the grim realities that will occur if SEPTA has to make dramatic service cuts from a lack of state and federal funding. We hope that shooting of the video will begin in the next couple of weeks. We’re looking to produce 2 or 3 videos, all of which will be shot by volunteers.
As for the Silverliner V public service announcement, we’re still waiting to receive grant funding from APTA. Initially we thought the PSA might begin to run in early-August, although now we’re looking at mid- to late-August. Even though August is a slow month for ridership, we expect the PSA to be widely seen.
Finally, if you’re interested in getting a head-start and contacting state and/or federal lawmakers now, contact info can be found right here on our website. By all means, go for it! If you wish to e-mail your lawmakers, feel free to CC DVARP (firstname.lastname@example.org) in those e-mails. We can help you follow up with your lawmakers if necessary.
How many of you frequent Franklin Square or Old City? How many of you live in South Jersey? If enough of you can answer yes to both questions, then it might be time for DRPA (and PATCO) to re-open Franklin Square Station. The real questions to ask when examining whether the station should be re-added to the schedule is how many people will use a re-opened Franklin Square Station, and how many new riders will PATCO get out of it. If the response to either question is negligible, there’s not much of a point in making the train ride for people looking to travel elsewhere in Center City longer.
With this in mind, there’s evidence that a re-opened Franklin Square Station might be well-patronized and attract new riders to PATCO (people who would otherwise drive into Old City). Franklin Square has become a destination for the young (and the young at heart and soul). Old City continues to prove a popular place to live, shop, drink, and even work. Those who shop in Old City could make use of a re-opened Franklin Sq. Station, while those who live there could reverse-commute to work or college in South Jersey.
While the 8th and Market PATCO stop is not too far away, the extra few blocks walk could mean the difference between driving in and taking the train for some South Jersey residents. This is especially true for those with young kids who would be inclined to visit the carousel and/or miniature golf course at Franklin Square. Another argument that’s been made against re-opening the station is the inhospitable walking environment at the intersection of 6th and Race Sts., which would be right outside a re-opened station. While the multi-laned Race St. can be intimidating, it’s only bound to get better for pedestrians. After all, it separates Independence Hall and the National Constitution Center from Franklin Sq. This is an intersection that has to become more walkable.
Of course, DVARP is not going to do any advocating without hearing from you. Would you use a re-opened Franklin Sq. Station? Do you know anyone else who would use the station? Would the station compel you to use the train, when you would otherwise drive in? Let us know your opinion on re-establishing rail service to Franklin Square.
Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers
1601 Walnut St., Suite 1129
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2913
phone: 215-RAILWAY (215-724-5929)