Ask SEPTA: Crowded buses and SEPTA Key gets closer

Ask SEPTA: Crowded buses and SEPTA Key gets closer
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Is there someone responsible for removing the trash that’s been blown/thrown onto the tracks at the 69th Street Norristown High Speed Line Station? My hope is that they’re waiting for a warm spring day to clean up. It doesn’t have to look like Disneyworld or Switzerland, but c’mon, make an effort!

Jeffrey Knueppel: The Norristown High Speed Line train arrival area at 69th Street tends to act as a wind tunnel catch-all, and trash does accumulate there. In addition to daily station cleaning efforts, our janitorial crew performs regular clean-outs of the track area on a bi-weekly basis.

The next scheduled clean out is this week [starting Monday]. During the periods between the clean-outs, trash may get blown back into the track area and we ask for your understanding that it will be addressed shortly.

I am a daily Regional Rail rider and am only able to buy the monthly passes by having to travel to the Levittown or Philadelphia stations. There is currently a kiosk at the Trenton Transit Center where you can only purchase daily tickets; it would certainly be convenient for many riders to also be able to purchase a monthly pass as well. Could you please advise if this possibility will exist in the future?

JK: Currently, in addition to in-person sales locations, we offer purchases of monthly passes on our website, All major credit cards are accepted, and the pass is mailed to your shipping address.

In the future, we will expand purchasing options with our new fare system, the SEPTA Key, which will utilize Smart Card technology. Kiosks (fare vending devices) will offer more fare purchase options, including weekly and monthly passes. In addition, customers will be able to have their pass purchase automatically added to their account each week or month.

Customers will also be able to purchase passes and other fares from any location — such as their home or office — via the web. We encourage you to check the SEPTA website at for more information about the program.

The 57 bus is terrible. Everyday after work at least four or five buses have to drive by, because they are completely packed, before they can pick anyone up. Can someone please explain why and what can be done to improve this?

JK: Route 57 is one of our busiest routes, with a daily ridership of over 11,000 passengers. While you did not mention exactly what time you are traveling, significant ridership levels occur during the evening peak hours between 4 and 6 p.m., and some level of crowding can be experienced.

Unfortunately, not all of our customers will move to the back of the vehicle to make room for others, which can lead to overcrowding on subsequent trips. Operators are trained to request that standees move to the rear of the bus in order to accommodate all waiting customers. Many customers comply, but this is not always an easy situation for the operator to manage.

SEPTA will acquire 30 new articulated 60-foot buses this year which have a larger seating capacity to increase the carrying capacity and size of the SEPTA bus fleet. This will free up some 40-foot buses to be used on routes that are experiencing overcrowding, such as Route 57. SEPTA staff will continue to monitor the Route 57 ridership and schedule performance, and make adjustments where possible.

Every few weeks in”Ask SEPTA,” SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel answers Metro readers’ questions about public transit. To submit a question, please email them [email protected].