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Ask SEPTA: SEPTA moves forward with Wawa extension

Every three weeks, SEPTA general manager Joe Casey addresses public transit questions submitted by Metro Philadelphia readers.

I've been waiting for years to hear news regarding the extension of the Media/Elwyn line to Wawa. With the passage of the state transportation bill, when is a realistic time this could be done? Will there be notice when this question is answered, or when the column regularly is printed to keep an eye for an answer?

SEPTA GM Joe Casey: With the passage of Act 89 and State Transportation funding, SEPTA is now able to move forward with the Wawa Service Restoration Project. SEPTA has recently completed acquisition of needed property at the proposed Wawa station. Design and permitting for the project is being finalized with construction to start in 2017. The Project is currently scheduled to be completed in late 2020.

Why are there so very few seats for seniors and handicapped on the Paoli/Thorndale trains? Many times I have to stand because there are no seats. I have no problem on city buses or the Market Frankford El, because seats are marked. Can you rectify this problem?

Casey: Federal regulations require that at least one car per train be ADA accessible. However, all of SEPTA’s Regional Rail Silverliner cars and Push/Pull cab cars have Priority Seating. The accessible seats — designated by Priority Seating decals (see below)— are located directly inside the doors. The two sets of benches near the center of the newer SilverLiner V cars can be flipped up to accommodate a wheelchair.

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The older Silverliner IV and Push/Pull cab cars feature a two person bench seat and space for a wheelchair. If the Priority Seating area is occupied with passengers, let the conductor know that you need a seat in this area. Please be aware that the conductor must ask, but cannot require, that someone move to another seat. If the conductor is unable to secure a seat for you in the car, he or she may seek Priority Seating in another car for you.

Who thought it would be a good idea to move the original bus stop on the corners to deeper into the next block? This means the driver has to almost take you to the next stop, and riders have to walk back ... The stops are usually in front of a residence, which means trash. ... People dump their trash in front of my household door ... The drivers rarely pull over to the curb and do not lower the bus, and older people now have to almost jump down to the ground.​

Casey: As a result of a collaborative effort between the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA to provide the best overall service to riders, a number of transit stops along the Route 52 have been relocated. Transit stops are strategically placed based on customer accessibility and operational concerns. Bus stops may end up being placed in front of a private residence or a commercial business. We appreciate all feedback and will continue to review and monitor the overall placement of our transit stop locations.

Bus operators are required to curb their bus and are also required to “kneel” or lower the bus if requested or when it is obvious that a rider would benefit from the use of the kneeler to get on or off the bus. SEPTA staff will monitor the performance on this route for compliance. As for the trash left in front of your home, we encourage you to continue to reach out to your community leaders or City of Philadelphia officials so that they can address your concerns.

 
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