SEPTA news on Parkside Loop

SEPTA is moving forward with plans to move the Parkside Loop.

SEPTA’s operations committee reviewed an agreement at its monthly meeting on Thursday to purchase land from the Philadelphia Authority for Industrial Development near 50th Street and Parkside Avenue for $130,000.

The new loop, which serves as a terminus for Routes 43 and 64 and provides transfers to Routes 40 and 52, will sit on over an acre of land and include improved passenger amenities and bathrooms for bus operators.

In other news, the operations committee reviewed a $239,000 agreement with the Philadelphia Transportation Management Association to extend Philadelphia Phlash service to the Philadelphia Zoo and the Please Touch Museum from May 1 through Oct. 31. This will mark the second year SEPTA has subsidized the service, which lets tourists take a bus from Center City to the West Philadelphia attractions. The agreement also gives SEPTA pass holders free rides on Phlash buses. More than 9,900 pass holders took the service last year.

SEPTA’s administration committee also reviewed three four-year, $2.5 million vehicle engineering and equipment consulting contracts awarded to LTK Engineering Inc., STV Inc. and Interfleet Technology Inc. SEPTA will be able to use the firms to provide expert engineering advice on SEPTA projects, though it’s not required to spend the full $2.5 million in the contracts.

The authority had previously used only one firm. Luther Diggs, assistant general manager of operations, explained that having three contracts will allow the authority to take advantage of a wider variety of engineering expertise.

The committee also reviewed a $350,000 increase to the authority’s life insurance contract with Group Life Insurance as part of the new labor agreements the authority negotiated with its unions. The contract now stands at $6.3 million.

These and other contracts will be voted on by the SEPTA Board next week.

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