Septa recently announced plans to reduce all transit services in an effort to keep employees and commuters safe during the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
The reduced services will include buses, the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, trolleys and Norristown High Speed Line. The new schedules will be similar to Septa’s usual Saturday schedule and they will go into effect on Sunday, March 22, until further notice. The 24-hour train operations on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines will be operating according to the new schedules, but will continue to run as these lines are considered essential for those who need to get to work or obtain medical care.
Starting on Friday, March 20, outlying Regional Rail station ticket windows and waiting rooms will be closed. This is a temporary measure to ensure the safety of Septa employees and commuters. Riders can purchase tickets at five Center City ticket offices and Septa Key Fare Kiosks at those stations. All cash paid fares will be at the reduced/weekend rate until further notice.
Septa representatives explained these changes are being done to comply with health recommendations for social distancing amid the COVID-19 virus pandemic. As of Thursday, there have been 44 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Philadelphia and 185 cases in Pennsylvania.
Even with reduced services, all commuters and employees are highly encouraged to distance themselves from one another and regularly wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Septa has upped its cleaning and disinfectant efforts to ensure the safety of all Philadelphians using public transportation.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our workforce has shown during this unprecedented crisis,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “Everyone is pulling in the same direction, and that gives me great hope that we will ultimately pull through this very trying time.”
People can check Septa’s website and Twitter account, @SEPTA, for updates. Schedules with Saturday service information are available at septa.org.