Thursday, August 31, 2006

Further evidence SEPTA is the most poorly managed transit agency in the world

Public transit is so vital to a city’s economic wellbeing, it literally pains us to think about the incompetent twats “running” Septa.

Take this nugget from today’s City Paper (emphasis added):
Earlier this month, the state started accepting applications from transit authorities, government agencies and nonprofits for Alternative Fuels Incentive Grants (AFIGs), which would offset extra costs associated with switching to biodiesel. Since 1992, the program has allocated nearly $30 million for the production and use of clean-burning fuels; there is no cap on individual grants.

So, SEPTA, why not give biodiesel a try?

SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney hadn't heard of the grant until a reporter told him, but even after reviewing the specifics, he declared that no one can provide the five-county agency the 15 million gallons of diesel fuel a year it needs.

But a few calls to providers proved the opposite is true. Massachusetts-based World Energy sends more biofuel to Philadelphia by rail car than anywhere else in the country.

Still, since SEPTA gets its fuel via pipeline directly from the Sunoco refinery in South Philly, Maloney says, it has no place to mix the "bio" parts with the diesel.

"We will not be applying for the fundamental reason that it is at the moment logistically impossible for us to mix the fuels at the capacity we need," he says.

That may be the case now, but Sunoco spokesperson Gerald Davis said the company would consider carrying biodiesel if customers like SEPTA requested it.

SEPTA says it hasn't asked for it because Sunoco doesn't offer it.)
Ah hah. See? Septa can always out-flank you with their insanely-obtuse, circular web of excuse-riddled logic.

But wait, what’s this?
For now, the city plans to apply for the AFIG grant SEPTA rejected. Fleet manager James Muller says the biodiesel would fuel the 3,000 diesel vehicles used by the city, the School District, the Parking Authority and the Housing Authority.

"Anything that comes down the pike, we're interested," he says. "We need to start doing something, with the condition of the world today."

You know you’re in trouble when a bureaucratic city agency makes you look like a complete and total disgrace.

Hi, we’re Septa and we do everything ass backwards… especially if there’s a chance doing it well could reflect positively on Philadelphia [City Paper]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The use of new and different types of fuels is harder and more complicated than it sounds for transit agencies. For example, when public agencies buy buses, they are required to make the buses last 12 years. Studies show that alternative fuel vehicle engines have a shorter life span than regular diesel engines and end up costing transit agencies more money in the long run. The the Governor's Transp. & Funding Commission shows, SEPTA funding is very sensitive issue. The procurement of vehicles with shorter life spans may make environmental sense but not fiscal sense.

SEPTA is indeed mismanaged but this isn't an example of it by any stretch.