Ask SEPTA: GM Joe Casey answers questions about new trains, SEPTA app

A 20-year-old man reportedly was texting his friend when he was struck and killed by a SEPTA train in Abington on Monday. Credit: Metro file photo Credit: Metro file photo

Every three weeks, SEPTA General Manager Joe Casey addresses reader-submitted questions about the city’s public transit system.This week, Casey answers reader’s questions about when Media-Elwyn line riders can expect the new trains and the SEPTA app.

Question:Why have you stopped using the new cars on two of Media-Elwyn line’s most used trains (Train No. 9334 in a.m. and No. 9365 in p.m.)? We haven’t had a new train for many, many months now. The old cars are so bad one can barely read due to poor lighting, and they feel like they are going to bounce right off the tracks sometimes. Thank you. Nancy Sutherland

Joe Casey: SEPTA’s Regional Rail ridership is at an all time high and continues to grow each year. Our staff routinely monitors ridership trends and make adjustments where possible to minimize overcrowded conditions with our available fleet. We agree that the 2 trains you refer to have very loyal patronage by our Media/Elwyn passengers. In fact, the reason we stopped utilizing the new rail cars on these trains was a direct result of complaints we received from the number of passengers that could not get a seat and the overcrowded conditions These trains are currently scheduled to go in service with 6 cars each day. The newer cars have 12 less seats per car and by using the older cars we gain over 70 additional seats on the train. The good news is that SEPTA is in the process of procuring new bi-level cars that will have a capacity of over 150 seats. We anticipate that these new cars would most likely be utilized on trains that have high ridership such as train 9334 and 9365. Since this procurement may take a couple years we continue an aggressive maintenance campaign to assure the safety and reliability of our current fleet and we are also undergoing a retrofit of the lighting system to provide brighter, environmentally beneficial LED lights on the cars. Thank you for your continued support of SEPTA

Question: Since SEPTA now has a app for iPhones, and Android devices called “SEPTA APP”…Has any thought been taken into consideration of making a application for customers to purchase their train tickets for the railroad ?. I’ve rode NJTRANSIT and used the app numerous times and it seems to benefit very well. I think SEPTA riders would benefit the same. Their would be no need for them to rush and buy a ticket and have the hassle of a ticket office being close. Just purchase the ticket for the planned trip and conductor sees the purchased ticket on the phone and it speeds the process. The advantage would be great since NPT is coming soon 😉 -Samuel Bennie

Joe Casey: SEPTA’s new open payment fare system will provide customers with fare purchasing options as convenient as mobile ticketing, if not more so. SEPTA is developing a mobile website that will work on all mobile devices, rather than individual Apps specifically developed for Android or I-phone or Windows. Through this mobile website, passengers can load a pass or add funds to their smart card from any location, at any time. A mobile wallet on your NFC cell phone can also be loaded with transit funds and used in place of your smartcard. Regional Rail riders will still have the convenience of paying cash or tapping their contactless bank card for a Pay-Go transaction. Waiting in line to purchase tickets will be a thing of the past.

What would you Ask SEPTA? Email your questions to Metro Philadelphia City Editor Christina Paciolla at [email protected].

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