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SEPTA needs to wake up

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We keep hearing about the revolutionary redesign that is underway at SEPTA. But from what I have seen, none of the plans improve a major flaw in the SEPTA system – synchronization of buses with train schedules.

I have complained about this several times before to SEPTA, and their response has been that they don’t synchronize buses and train schedules. Why not? Isn’t that an integral part of optimizing the overall system? SEPTA wants to know why its ridership has declined and why its customers are upset. Talk to anyone who attempts to take two forms of transportation for their daily commute. And the real-time app often provides misleading information, which compounds the problem when you are trying to make decisions about optimizing your commute.

Here is a simple example of the lack of synchronization:

The eastbound 28 bus is scheduled to arrive at the Fox Chase station at 5:11 p.m. Often the driver arrives one minute early. The driver can clearly see that the train was arriving. You would think the driver would stop and wait for people to disembark from the train. This usually only takes one or two minutes. The Fox Chase line to Fox Chase always runs a couple of minutes late. But instead of waiting and picking up more riders, the drivers blow right past the stop, stranding 8 people trying to connect on the bus, and worse, leaving their bus virtually empty. What is the logic in running empty buses?

The next bus at this stop is usually late due to rush-hour traffic, so passengers end up waiting 30 minutes for the next bus. This doubles their commute time. The solution that many take is to drive to the train station and park – wonderful for the environment of course. This happens about 50% of the time for this particular route, so it is hardly an isolated incident. Ironically, the bus that speeds past the SEPTA stop often gets stuck in rush-hour traffic a mile down the road. So what is the big hurry?

When I have previously contacted SEPTA about this, their very dismissive response was that SEPTA buses are not synced with the trains. Well, that makes absolutely no sense. You are spending money providing bus-on-demand services in the suburbs so buses and trains can connect. Delaying the 28 bus to sync with the Fox Chase train will not impact anything downstream. Worse, this is not the only bus line that is designed this way.

The situation is even worse when traveling from the airport. Traveling to the airport is usually fairly efficient – the buses and trains line up well. But coming back from the airport usually takes two hours because the buses and trains are not synchronized. The same trip by car is 30 minutes.

There are software tools available that will help SEPTA optimize its routes. This is, after all, the age of artificial intelligence. Anyone with significant experience with the SEPTA routes could also make these adjustments manually. This is just another example of how outdated SEPTA is … and yet they are embarking on another “revolutionary redesign,” which … guess what, doesn’t address this issue.

I won’t even get into the issue that there are an enormous number of uncollected fares now, and yet SEPTA complains it is losing money. Unbelievable.

Joseph Picone


Don’t support terrorists

For the pro-Palestine protesters on college campuses and throughout the major cities around the world, you are marching in support of Hamas terrorists.

Where was the world when there was ethnic cleansing of the Bosnian Muslims in the early 1990s?

Not a peep.

So now where’s the same compassion toward the innocent Israeli concertgoers who were bombed, that started this war?

This goes beyond Islamophobia and antisemitism, we are raging war against acts of terrorism around the world.

Again, where’s the world against the civil wars in Sudan, Nigeria and Kenya, where millions of innocent civilians are being slaughtered, and now the Myanmar civil war between Muslims and Buddhists.

Not a peep.

How quickly Americans have forgotten that our own American soldiers were beheaded by terror groups Hezbollah and ISIS under Obama’s presidency.

On this Veterans Day, let us be reminded of the beheading of American journalist James Foley under the hands of ISIS.

Also, let us not forget the beheading of American aid worker and former soldier Peter Kassig by ISIS.

And of course let us not forget the 2012 Benghazi attacks that killed four Americans that included our own American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and two Navy SEALs.

Again our Americans came under attack by armed Islamic terrorists, as much as Israelis by Hamas terrorists.

But here on our own soil, we have our own Americans marching in support of these terrorists.

They might as well be marching the Kristallnacht all over again, the coordinated march of the Nazi regime for the genocide of the Jews.

And what a coincidence for all this to happen now 85 years later to the week to coincide with the Nov. 9-10, 1938 pogrom started against the Jews.

Unfortunately, history does repeat itself and there are no coincidences when evil is involved.

Like 9/11 for the remembrance of Americans killed by the terror attack, let us pray for our veterans on 11/11, and to all the victims of the Holocaust and civil wars.

Al Ulus


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