What might have been. Rapid Transit in Philadelphia.

Category: Uncategorized

Philadelphia’s Subway Surface Lines

Greater PRT started looking into the history of Philadelphia’s Subway Surface Subway lines, in part because the name itself will make your brain melt. From the city that gave you Street Road, of course there is a Subway Surface Tunnel that doesn’t carry subways, but trolleys. Are you following? Really? Because have you seen the maps? Below is the current trolley map which primarily shows the Subway Surface lines.

2018 SEPTA Subway Surface Map
SEPTA’s current trolley line map including Subway Surface routes and the Route 15 Trolley on Girard Avenue

The map is bad. It’s busy, doesn’t convey any idea of where the trolleys run in the physical world, and if you wanted to connect to anything but the Market-Frankford Line, well good luck.

Official SEPTA System Map

But short shrifting the trolley lines isn’t just a fault of the route line map. On the official SEPTA system map, subway-surface trolleys only rate a couple of arrows and some cramped text, representing five lines. Hardly appropriate for a system with more than 71,000 riders per weekday.

This isn’t exactly a new problem. SEPTA’s 1982 map wasn’t much better, though it did at least acknowledge that the trolleys did indeed run down streets.

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Making the Case for King of Prussia Rail Service

Photo via Connect KOP

Photo via Connect KOP

A. Merritt Taylor may have predicted and urged a lot of rapid transit buildouts but he never considered “Edge Cities.”

Yesterday, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia presented Connecting with the King, a plan to connect rail transit to King of Prussia. The event took place at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel in King of Prussia. The proposed rail extension would add a four-mile extension to the Norristown High Speed Line (built as the Philadelphia and Western Railroad) to King of Prussia.

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Navy Yard Subway Extension Isn’t Exactly New News

Yesterday, Congressman Bob Brady, IBEW Local 98 President John Dougherty and a host of other local big shots congregated at the Philadelphia Navy Yard to promote the idea of extending the Broad Street Subway to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. It is hardly a new idea. In fact we recently found this 1914 article from the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger where visionary transit director A. Merritt Taylor spoke of a plan to extend the still unbuilt Broad Street Subway into the Navy Yard.  

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