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Calling All Artists

I could probably devote an entire blog to SEPTA much like the Frankford Terminal Blog, but I don’t have the heart for it. Talk about mixed feelings, it’s a real love/hate relationship. “Would you like to talk about it?” Sure, doc, sure.

This post started with a discussion at dinner about the Route 23 trolley that runs along Germantown Avenue. Or ran, rather, as the trolleys were replaced in 1992 with buses. Not that I even noticed, since I’m rarely on that stretch of Germantown Avenue. I grew up with trains and trolleys, though, so my interest was piqued. I found Where’s the Trolley? a site devoted to tweaking SEPTA over their broken promise to restore trolley service on some North Philadelphia routes, including the 23. (Sadly, they had to go all the way to Prague to get a picture of a modern trolley car.) Then on PoliticsPhilly, there was a piece on the Route 15 trolley which is one line that actually was updated (btw, all three of the links in that piece are broken for me; not their fault).

But enough about the dearly departed trolleys. From the notices posted at the train station, I learned that the capital budget hearings are in a couple of weeks. I was reading the notice online at SEPTA (<rant>Why oh why do they publicize their web address as There is no</rant>), and I noticed a Call for Artists [pdf]. Here’s the background:

SEPTA has embarked on an Art in Transit Program designed to incorporate art elements into renovation and construction projects for selected stations and public transportation facilities. The program allocates up to one percent of the construction budget of capitally funded projects for the design, fabrication and installation of permanent artwork.

This competition is for the chance to transform two 50-foot box beams at the station at 60th and Market, part of the El renovation. The budget is $140,000. Maybe I should be upset that SEPTA is not spending every cent on more practical improvements, but I’m not. One thing missing from the SEPTA system is beauty and aesthetics, and this program will go a long way toward changing that.


I'd enter, but stickmen are worth far more than 140k. :)

I'm torn. On the one hand the money could go to other, more practical improvements that are sorely needed to the system. On the other hand, as you said, beauty and aesthetics are missing from the SEPTA system, so it will probably be a good thing. Especially at 60th and Market.

I've been adding SEPTA hearing to my calendar, but unfortunately I can't attend most of them.

SEPTA owns both and, and I usually use the .org address. Can't you get to it?

Andrea, I swear every time I used, it redirected immediately to It’s working fine now. I’m sure they read my post. Yeah, that’s the ticket. :-)

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