Posts Tagged ‘SEPTA’

SEPTA Expanding Use of Key Passes

July 14, 2022

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is expanding use of its SEPTA Key Advantage.

The Philadelphia-based public transit agency said it is inviting more organizations to participate in the pass program.

Participating institutions can acquire SEPTA Key cards directly from the Authority and distribute them to employees.

The program began on May 1 with Drexel University, Penn Medicine and Wawa stores in Philadelphia participating.

SEPTA said more than 7,000 are using the passes and it has helped boost ridership by 18 percent among workers of those institutions.

SEPTA to Launch Key Card Pilot Program

March 26, 2022

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority will launch a pilot program starting May 1 that will issue key cards to employees of program participant organizations.

The cards will be issued by SEPTA to organizations which in turn will distribute them to their employees.

In a news release, SEPTA said it will begin the program as a six-month pilot with Drexel University, Penn Medicine, and Wawa stores in the city of Philadelphia.

The SEPTA key cards are good for regional rail trains as well as the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, Norristown High Speed Line, and city and suburban buses and trolleys. The cards will be automatically reloaded each month for the six-month period.

SEPTA said it partnered with 5th Square and Transit Forward Philadelphia to secure a grant that paid for the research and design of the key card program.

The transit agency said it will propose a tariff change to make the program permanent and to allow for a wider Phase 2 expansion.

SEPTA Launches Station Safety Guide Program

March 3, 2022

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has begun a new safety program that uses agency ambassadors to guide riders at stations.

The guides are stationed along the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines.

In a news release SEPTA said the guides will remind riders of riding rules, help lost riders and contact police if necessary.

Later, they will take over the responsibilities of opening and closing the subway stations, which will enable police to patrol overnight more frequently, SEPTA officials said.

SEPTA awarded one-year contracts to three firms for services: Extrity LLC; Scotlandyard Security Services Inc.; and Philadelphia Protection Unit LLC. The firms will replace security contractor Allied Universal.

“While the guides will not replace police officers or serve an enforcement role, they will act as a force multiplier and contribute to the overall security of the system,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel.

The guide system is part of SEPTA’s Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement initiative that seeks to enhance outreach efforts to members of “vulnerable” communities, agency officials said. Social workers and outreach specialists have joined the transit agency since SCOPE’s launch last year.

SEPTA Launches Project to Improve Transit Access

October 29, 2021

A Philadelphia public transit agency has begun a program to improve access to its services.

The Transit Supportive Community Development program of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority also seek to increase equity and ridership, enhance local economies and reduce reliance on personal vehicles, the agency said in a news release.

The program will support development along corridors with frequent transit service.

“Development that supports and expands access to transit is key to reaping the benefits of public transportation, like reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced household transportation costs, and increased social mobility,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards.

SEPTA Increasing Rail Service Next Week

September 1, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will increase service across its system next week.

New schedules for buses, trolleys and high-speed rail went into effect Aug. 29 and 30 while new regional rail schedules will become effective on Sept. 5.

SEPTA said overall service will increase to 93 percent of pre-COVID levels. High-frequency bus and trolley routes will operate at pre-COVID levels.

 Parking at regional rail stations will continue to be free through October, and closed station sales offices will reopen by the first week in September.

SEPTA Releases 5 Year Strategic Plan

March 2, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has approved a five-year strategic plan for fiscal years 2021 through 2026.

The plan will be used to guide the agency’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as establish a vision for future growth.

“The pandemic has highlighted the important role SEPTA has in providing access to essential jobs and services,” said SEPTA Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. in a statement.

“SEPTA will be at the center of our region’s recovery efforts, and this plan will play a critical role in laying the foundation for that work.”

The plan lists challenges disrupting its work and lays out steps to be taken to provide safe, reliable and accessible transportation.

SEPTA Wants to Use Pandemic Relief Funds for Rail Extension Project

February 26, 2021

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority wants to use $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to free up money for design and engineering work for its King of Prussia rail extension.

The 3.5-mile King of Prussia extension recently gained Federal Transit Administration approval of its final environmental impact review.

A SEPTA spokesman said redirecting the pandemic relief funds would not affect the agency’s ability to safely transport riders.

However, some transit advocates in the Philadelphia region expressed concern that the move could have an adverse effect on service levels.

SEPTA has proposed using the pandemic relief funds to pay for its lease of tracks owned by Amtrak.

SEPTA Opens Solar Power Farm

February 17, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has opened a 17.5-megawatt solar farm in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

In a news release, the transit agency said the Elk Hill 2 solar farm project was developed under a power purchase agreement between SEPTA and Lightsource to help reduce SEPTA’s carbon emissions.

It is one of two solar farms that SEPTA and Lightsource have developed in the past year.

Elk Hill 2 is expected to generate 27,377 MWh of  solar energy or nearly 10 percent of SEPTA’s 380,000 MWh per year electricity demand.

SEPTA said generation from a solar farm of this size and type can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,360 metric tons of CO2 annually, the same as offsetting the emissions of 4,180 fuel burning cars each year.

Study Supports SEPTA Line Extension

January 18, 2021

The final environmental impact statement for a proposed extension of the Norristown High Speed Line of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority has identified a preferred route.

The Federal Transit Administration document described the 3.4-mile extension to King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, as likely to generate an average of 6,755 weekday riders by 2040 of which 4,556 would be new users.

The double-track line is estimated to cost $2.08 billion to build and have annual operation and maintenance costs of $10.87 million.

Planning for the project began in 2012. The Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision concluded the need for the project stems from current conditions of long travel times, delays due to roadway congestion and transfers that lead to two-or-more-seat trips.

The report also said some destinations targeted by the project are currently underserved or lack public transportation.

SEPTA to Serve Newark, MARC Suspends Service for Inauguration

January 16, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will resume weekday service at Newark, Delaware on Jan. 25.

SEPTA had suspended service to two stations on its Wilmington/Newark regional rail line due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Delaware service is being underwritten by the state at the Newark and Churchmans Crossing stations to provide travel options during an Interstate 95 construction project scheduled to start in February and last through 2023.

In an unrelated development, MARC will suspend commuter train service on all three of its routes starting Jan. 17 in advance of the presidential inauguration set for Jan. 20 in Washington.

Affected will be service to West Virginia on the Brunswick Line.

MARC said trains are expected to resume operating on Jan. 21 but it advised riders to check the Maryland Transit Administration Twitter feed or the MTA Transit app for more information.

The transit agency said the service suspensions are part of tightened security surrounding the inauguration.