I Wanna Know

PW exposes the tricks, scams and truth about the powers that be.

By Heather Duffy
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 28, 2004

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Q: Why would the city go to the expense of restoring trolley service and constructing new trolley stops along Girard Avenue when the existing bus service is adequate, and the potholes all over Phila-delphia are both a hazard and a disgrace?

A: While the bus service along Girard Avenue is adequate, it was never meant to last. "When trolley services ceased we had an agreement with the city to return the services. That's why the tracks stayed. It was never intended to be a permanent bus route," says SEPTA community relations coordinator Wendy Green. The Route 15 trolley last ran on Girard Avenue in September 1992. Construction on the $50 million effort to restore the trolley service funded on federal, state and local levels began in the fall of 2000. Starting this summer the Route 15 trolley will run the length of Girard Avenue, from Port Richmond in the east to Overbrook in the west. A more specific time frame is not yet available, says SEPTA spokesperson Sylvana Hoyos. Earlier this month operators began training on 18 rebuilt PCC cars, the models that ran on the line starting in the late 1940s. "For the most part stops will remain the same, especially at major intersection locations," says Green. The trolley will run 24 hours a day with peak-hour pickups every 10 minutes and non-peak-hour pickups every 15 minutes. The potholes, though, are a different issue. "A pothole within the track area is SEPTA's responsibility," says Green. "It depends where it is." According to the Streets Department's website, potholes between trolley and train tracks or within 18 inches of the outside of the tracks are SEPTA's responsibility. The Highway Division of the Streets Department gives priority to potholes on major highways or those that pose immediate danger to motorists or pedestrians. To report a pothole, contact the Streets Department's customer service unit at 215.686.5560. To help speed up the process, be prepared to provide more than just the location of the pothole. Being able to describe the size and depth of the hole, or whether it's near tracks or along a bus route, will help the Streets Department determine who should respond to your report. For more information go to the city's website at www.phila.gov and click the "Report a Pothole" link.

What do you wanna know? Send queries and complaints to Heather M. Duffy at hduffy@philadelphiaweekly.com

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