SEPTA Outlines Options for Regional Rail

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has released three options for improving its regional rail network.

In a news release, SEPTA said the options are part of its strategic plan to envision regional rail as part of a lifestyle network of frequent, all-day and all-week services that connects people to a range of destinations across the region.

The options were developed after surveying current, past and potential riders as well as operators, staff and other stakeholders.

The options include focusing on consistent service throughout the network, providing service every 30 minutes; focusing on more frequent service (every 15 minutes) in some areas of the system where demand supports it; focusing on faster and integrated service across agencies, providing express services across the system all day.

The next step in the project is to gather public views on the three options this summer and fall.

Those views will be used to create a vision for the future of the regional rail system and develop a plan to implement short-, medium- and long-term solutions, SEPTA said.

Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, SEPTA regional rail handled 132,000 riders daily. SEPTA officials said their research found that even before the pandemic began many would-be riders chose to use other SEPTA services for a variety of reasons, including high fares for commuter trains, infrequent service and lack of accessibility.

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