Ask SEPTA: where to get your Papal Pass, and more reader questions

Ask SEPTA: where to get your Papal Pass, and more reader questions

As a daily commuter on the Lansdale-Doylestown line (R5) I am wondering how I am going to get to and from work during the days the World Meeting of Families is taking place. We have people standing in the morning on a regular basis as it is. So far, the solutions I’ve heard to accommodate the multitude of visitors do not seem very feasible. If Lansdale is going to be our only option, where are we going to park? That lot is already at capacity. Driving into the city is also not going to be an option. How does SEPTA plan to accommodate the regular commuters? That week is a crucial week for me at work, so I cannot take vacation or be late to the office.

GM Joe Casey:During the World Meeting of Families convening, September 22-25, SEPTA will operate on normal weekday schedules Monday through Thursday. A determination will be made regarding service levels required for Friday once we have received information regarding if some business will decide to close for the day. Regular riders who rely on SEPTA for daily commuting may be impacted by event attendees, especially toward the end of the week. We encourage our regular riders to plan accordingly, perhaps by taking an earlier train than usual into work.

During the Papal Visit on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27, all riders using Regional Rail – including regular SEPTA customers and visitors – will be required to pre-purchase a special one-day Papal Visit Pass. The passes are being sold online through a e-commerce website SEPTA is limiting the number of passes that will be sold, and requiring pre-purchase of the passes, to keep crowd numbers consistent with the capacity that will be available on Regional Rail trains and insure surety of service. We will double capacity by modifying Regional Rail operations, in an effort to accommodate travel demand. A total of just 18 outlying Regional Rail stations will be in operation. All other stations will be closed during the weekend. This will allow SEPTA to run express-type inbound-only service in the morning to the events, and outbound-only service afterwards.

The World Meeting of Families conference and the Papal visit are historically significant events. We hope our regular riders join us in welcoming our international visitors to the Philadelphia region and SEPTA.

There are a lot of passengers that use the Thorndale line. Would you consider making one of the midday trains an express train to Thorndale rather than a local? This way those individuals working a half day can cut their commute home by 30 mins.

SEPTA:You are certainly correct that there are lots of passengers on the Paoli-Thorndale Line; it’s SEPTA’s highest ridership Regional Rail Line carrying over 22,000 daily riders. Express trains are scheduled during peak hour periods when ridership from the furthest stations, beyond Malvern to Thorndale is highest. Peak hour service levels are frequent enough to provide complimentary local service to the intermediate stations skipped by the express trains. However, during mid-day periods, ridership is higher at stations between Malvern and Center City. Expressing a train destined directly to Thorndale would not provide an adequate level of service to the local stations that would be skipped during mid-day hours.

Why has the 38 bus at 8:39a.m.from the Art Museum towards Wissahickon been at least 10minutes late every day for the past threemonths?One day three buses in a row did not show up, and on another occasion I was told by a SEPTA customer support agent that they “lost” the 8:39 a.m. bus and I would have to wait for the next bus.

Why does SEPTAnot put something in place for “free rides” for riders for such delays. It is real hard having to pay your fare when your bus does not show up or is consistently late.

The route 38 unfortunately is subjected to various detours and construction delays. The construction delays are mainly in the area of the Art Museum. The construction project on the Spring Garden Street Bridge creates delays that can range from 10 minutes to 20 minutes. Motorists attempting to travel west on route 76 exacerbates this problem due to the fact that the “Turn Only” lane for the expressway has been eliminated. Transportation Managers will continue to monitor schedule adherence for the route 38 and will submit observation reports to the Assistant Directors. A supervisor is assigned to ensure the trip in question is monitored. Thank you for sharing your concerns with us. SEPTA appreciates being made aware of service issues that need improvement and require attention.

Every few weeks, SEPTA general manager Joe Casey addresses public transit questions submitted by Metro Philadelphia readers. Send questions to [email protected].