SEPTA is urging customers to plan ahead, and if possible, avoid unnecessary travel as Winter Storm Stella moves into the region late Monday evening/early Tuesday morning. Forecasts are predicting 8-12 inches of heavy, wet snow and high wind gusts that will impact SEPTA services on all modes of travel throughout the transit system on Tuesday, March 14. SEPTA will continually monitor the storm and make service adjustments as needed to ensure the safety of our customers and employees.
Below is a summary of some of the issues SEPTA may face, and steps being taken to maintain service and keep customers informed of possible disruptions:
Proactive Measures & Additional Staffing
SEPTA will have additional personnel on-hand as of 11 p.m. Monday at the SEPTA Headquarters Command Center, and also in the field to monitor conditions. Personnel at bus depots and rail yards will take measures to address vehicle equipment concerns that come with this kind of weather. Track inspectors and maintenance crews, as well as signal maintainers and power crews, will be staged at various locations throughout the system to be available to quickly address issues. By deploying extra staff, SEPTA will be in the best possible position to quickly identify problems and take corrective action to minimize the impact to our riders. Crews will also run pilot vehicles on all trolley routes, the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) and Regional Rail lines over night to keep the lines clear and ready for morning service.
SEPTA has tools at its disposal to battle the winter weather, such as high-velocity snow blowers and brining equipment, aimed at combating snowy and icy conditions. This equipment will play a key role in the Authority’s efforts to minimize disruptions to customers resulting from winter weather events. In addition, SEPTA has taken preventive efforts to prepare its revenue fleet of over 2,700 buses and trains. Air systems and doors on all vehicles are aggressively serviced, and additional traction motors are placed into inventory to reduce down time. Winter weather snow plans are also developed to identify critical system infrastructure areas that require deployment of personnel and equipment.
Twenty-Four Hour Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line Service
Similar to weekends, 24-hour weekend train service will be in operation on the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines – SEPTA’s two busiest routes. There will be no overnight Nite Owl bus service; trains will operate every 20 minutes, all-night. This keeps additional buses off potentially hazardous roads, and helps with efforts to continue service on these vital transit arteries. The Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines will be the best modes of transit for those needing to travel throughout Philadelphia.
Regional Rail to Operate on Severe Storm Service Plan
On Tuesday, March 14, SEPTA will activate its Regional Rail Severe Storm Service Plan. Lines will operate on a Saturday schedule with the exception of the following:
The Wilmington/Newark Line will run on an enhanced Saturday schedule, with service to Newark and Churchmans Crossing Stations.
Cynwyd Line service will not operate.
It is anticipated that service could experience significant delays and possible cancellations. Customers are urged to register for Twitter updates for their specific Regional Rail Line. Details are available here.
- Drifting Snow Could Impact Norristown High Speed Line: The NHSL will operate every 20 minutes; however, potentially high winds can cause snow drifts along the line. NHSL passengers should monitor SEPTA’s website and Twitter alerts for possible service delays or service suspension.
- Historically Affected Bus Routes to be Detoured at 4 a.m. (Earlier if Conditions Warrant): SEPTA will cut back and possibly suspend bus service along routes that are historically impacted by storms, such as hilly areas or on tight streets: Routes 7, 9, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 38, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 65,70, 73, 77, 84, 88, 92, 94, 95, 97, 99, 103, 107, 108, 112, 114, 117, 119, 120, 124, 126, G, H, XH, J, K, and L. Routes 35, 61, 62, 93 and 112 will be suspended. Additional bus routes could be detoured or suspended if road conditions deteriorate. Bus detours will be posted online here. Look for the storm cloud icon for weather-affected routes.
- Heavy Snow Could Impact Trolleys: Customers using SEPTA Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 15, 34 and 36, and the Media/Sharon Hill Line (Routes 101/102) should anticipate significant delays and possible service cancellations, due to street conditions and cars parked too close to the rails.
- Customized Community Transportation (CCT) to Operate Limited Schedule: Service will be available for dialysis and other urgent, critically-needed medical treatments and essential work personnel only on Tuesday, March 14. Customers should anticipate delays due accumulated snow and icy conditions on streets and sidewalks. Impassable streets and/or sidewalks not cleared of accumulated snow and ice may prevent safe boarding and transport. Customers should contact the Control Center at (215) 580-7720 to cancel trips if they don’t plan to ride. Customers should call CCT Customer Service at (215) 580-7145 for all other inquiries.
The SEPTA Customer Service Call Center will open at 6 a.m., and will be staffed with extra personnel. Customers can call (215) 580-7800 to speak to SEPTA representatives. The SEPTA Social Media Team (@SEPTA_Social) will also be available to answer inquiries via Twitter starting at 5 a.m. Service updates will be posted at www.septa.org.