SEPTA cuts Regional Rail service by 25 percent, refunds university passes

Twelve lines at Temple University Station will start running an enhanced Saturday schedule beginning today.

A SEPTA train pulls into the Temple University station on March 13. CLAUDIA SALVATO / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority announced that today it would enact its Severe Weather Plan and start an enhanced Saturday schedule service plan for Regional Rail Lines due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The service reduces the Regional Rail services 25 percent, cutting down from running 769 weekday trains to 581, said SEPTA Assistant General Manager of Operations Scott Sauer at a press conference on Tuesday. 

The service includes adding service for the Cynwyd line and Wilmington/Newark service ending in Newark. 

The Temple University Station on Main Campus on Berks Street near 10th runs 12 out of the 13 Regional Rail lines affected by the change. Riders can review modified Saturday timetables for Regional lines on SEPTA’s website

SEPTA has seen “significant ridership loss” due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Philadelphia, Sauer said. They have activated an emergency operations center to monitor daily service and expect to have a plan for city bus and subway lines by the end of the week, he added.

The company’s customer service offices at 30th Street Station on Market Street near 30th and Olney Transportation Center on Olney Avenue near Broad Street will be closed until further notice. There will also be limited access to other SEPTA buildings, like their headquarters office on Market Street near 12th. 

Yesterday the company began offering credit for unused and partially unused March 2020 passes and weekly passes for the weeks of March 9 and March 16. Customers should call the SEPTA Key Call Center to receive the credit.

Students who purchased University Semester Legacy Paper Passes can also submit their pass for a refund of unused days by mailing it to SEPTA Refunds at the company’s headquarters, according to the company’s credit policy

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