East Falls residents upset with noise incurred by local transport company

Current New Jersey law requires school buses to have lap-only belts. It's one of six states to require seatbelts at all on school buses. (Shutterstock)

Current New Jersey law requires school buses to have lap-only belts. It's one of six states to require seatbelts at all on school buses. (Shutterstock)

Residents in East Falls say a local transportation company’s buses are wreaking a noisy havoc on their neighborhood.

“We can hear the entire route, sometimes as early as five in the morning,” East Falls resident Julie Camburn said. “It’s constant, it’s annoying, and it’s really intolerable.”

Camburn is one of several residents who met with the owners of the Philly Transportation Company last week at the Falls Presbyterian Church. 

Noisy mornings

On weekdays, as many as 150 buses leave the Philly Transportation Company’s Fox Street location taking routes along Queen Lane, Penn Street, and McMichael Street, beginning at roughly 5:30 a.m. The company’s buses primarily transport Philadelphia School District students, but it also provides transportation for some sporting events on weekends.

For residents, this means that seven days a week their mornings often begin with the sound of a diesel-engine yellow bus rumbling down their street. Neighbors also say some of the company’s drivers are not honoring the 25 mph speed limit, and they want the owner, Eric Faust, to do something about it.

“The speeding is dangerous and totally disregards the people in the neighborhood,” Queen Lane resident Deborah Kaplan said. “You can hear them speeding up to make the light at the corner. This has to stop.”

Faust, who has been operating the company for nearly 30 years, said he came to the Thursday night meeting prepared to make a concession.

“I’m trying to do the right thing here. The bottom line is I want to be a good neighbor,” he said.

Faust said he plans to have GPS systems installed on all of the company’s buses within the next two months. He believes the tracking systems combined with some additional supervision will curb bus driver speeding.

An alternate route

While neighbors seemed pleased with that idea, they disagreed with Faust about how to address the more pressing issue of the noise.

Several residents, including former East Falls traffic committee chair Ray Lucci, suggested Faust can simply reroute his company’s buses to go down nearby Abbottsford Avenue.

“We’re offering you an alternative,” he said. “At that time of morning Abbottsford is not loaded with traffic. You can send your buses that way.”

Faust says the suggested alternate route is not safe for his drivers. He offered to make his drivers use Midvale Avenue but said ultimately, drivers can utilize any street that they choose.

The meeting ended in a stalemate.

Faust empathized with neighbors, but gave no indication that his company would be changing routes any time soon.

Residents plan to meet again soon. 

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