Ask SEPTA: Double parkers blocking buses and more questions

Ask SEPTA: Double parkers blocking buses and more questions
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Every month, SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppelpersonally answers questions from Metro readers about SEPTA operations in “Ask SEPTA.” Read on to see the latest questions.

My concern is regarding the Lucy loop throughUniversity City, specifically the green loop from 30th St. Stationbetween 7:15 AM and 7 :45 AM. The green bus often does not have enough room to accommodate all of the riders waiting. In the winter, many passengers are forced to wait out in the cold for the next bus because no one else can physically fit into the bus.

However, there are usually three to four gold loop buses sitting there, and many if not most buses leave less than half full. The traffic to Penn Presbyterian Hospital has increased significantly in the past year with the transfer of several major hospital services. Can this schedule be reviewed and revised to accommodate the increased need for green buses?

SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel: Continued employment growth and the opening of offices at 3737 Market have contributed to overcrowding on the Lucy Green loop as you describe.

Beginning Monday, February 22nd, a new schedule will provide more Green Loop service during the morning hours. There will be 18 trips leaving 30th and Market between 6:10 AM and 9:05 AM, while there are currently 14.

Nine trips will go only as far as Presbyterian Hospital, and nine will complete the entire Green Loop, adding extra space for the many new customers between 30th and Market Streets and Presbyterian Hospital near 39th and Market Streets. Transportation supervisors will monitor the service and make any needed adjustments each morning.

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Often, Train #6848 to Fox Chase arrives at Suburban Station at 5:28 with only 2 cars, so obviously there is no quiet car on the train. Please explain why a train which is heavily used frequently operates during the evening rush hour, when ridership is at its peak, with only twocars. On quite a few occasions, people are forced to stand for the entire ride to Fox Chase.

JK: Fox Chase train #6848 is scheduled to operate with three cars; however, due to a number of recent factors, it has been limited to two cars at times.

The January 23rd winter snow storm led to equipment problems on the fleet of 40-year-old Silverliner IV vehicles and rail car shortages that affected all Regional Rail lines for several days. When we experience car shortages, we manage the fleet in an attempt to ensure that the same trains are not consistently short.

For example, last week on Train #6848, we operated with three cars Monday through Thursday, and two cars on Friday evening. We are working diligently to increase our daily rail car count to provide all Regional Rail customers with a safe, comfortable ride.

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SEPTA buses on Chestnut and Walnut Streets in Center City are frequently delayed and significantly slowed down by illegally double parked delivery trucks. More than ticketing is needed to solve this problem, so what are SEPTA, the PPA, and the PPD going to do to stop this nonsense once and for all?

JK: We understand your frustration with illegally parked delivery trucks delaying SEPTA buses and the impact on our customers. SEPTA Transit Police work collaboratively with the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Philadelphia Police Department on efforts to reduce the blocking of bus and trolley routes.

SEPTA staff was invited by Mayor Kenney to be members of the Transportation Transition Committee and we are closely working with the Kenney Administration on this and other surface transportation issues. We will raise these particular locations in our communications with our partners, and use all legal means available to address it.

Metro regularly runs “Ask SEPTA,” a column of reader questions answered by SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel. To get your question answered by SEPTA, please email them to [email protected].