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Let’s Make #SEPTA247

March 10, 2014

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(Buy this shirt HERE!)

Two weeks ago I started a petition asking SEPTA to think about returning the Market-Frankford El and Broad Street Line Subway back to 24/7 service. (Just to put this in the context of history, the city’s trains ran 24/7 for nearly 70 years, before SEPTA eliminated them between the hours of midnight and 5am in exchange for ‘Night Owl’ buses in 1991.)

Feel free to read my – and hundreds of other people’s – reasons for wanting the return of 24/7 El and Subway service on the petition site HERE. But, suffice to say, as a kid who grew up in Philly, left take the dreaded ‘Night Owl’ bus on a number of different occasions, I can tell you that they are a nightmare. Another Philly kid, Joey Sweeny, over at Philebrity, even said he “wouldn’t wish a ‘Night Owl’ bus on his worst enemy,” and I completely agree. This all not to mention that SEPTA’s current service seems to ignore the ever-burgeoning restaurant and bar scene in Philly, which does not end at midnight, like their train service.

To date, the petition has over 2,000 signatures, and SEPTA has announced that they will think about testing late-night (till 3am) service on the weekends this summer. My hope is that the test period will go well, and SEPTA will extend late-night train service 7 days a week. Though, with SEPTA’s board dominated by suburban representatives, who hold all but two seats – even though about 80 percent of riders are city residents – I’m a bit anxious the best decision for city residents won’t be made.

Just as a quick side note, according to Philly.com: “Regional rail, which is geared toward the suburbs, receives more than twice the public subsidy that SEPTA’s City Transit Division does – $3.76 per passenger, vs. $1.78. It’s a gross inequity.” So, perhaps it’s time we shake up that board too?

Either way, it’s bound to be some time before SEPTA decides whether or not to return late-night service (be it 24/7, or just till 3am,) and even longer before they decided whether or not to extend this service to 7 days a week.

If you agree that bringing late-night El and Subway service back to Philly is a good thing, sign my petition HERE… And feel free to wear your support with my collaboration SEPTA 24/7 T-shirt with Print Liberation!

6 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2014 3:54 pm

    It’s such a shame that SEPTA pits city vs suburbs like this. Successful metro regions act together. It was never like this when I lived in Boston with the MBTA.

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