SEPTA is urging customers to plan ahead, and if possible, avoid unnecessary travel as Winter Storm Toby moves into the region late Tuesday afternoon and continuing through Wednesday. Forecasts are predicting upwards of 12 inches of heavy, wet snow and moderate wind gusts that will impact SEPTA services on all modes of travel throughout the transit system on Wednesday, March 21. 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-site 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 trolley routes 11, 34, 101 and 102 and the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) overnight Wednesday to keep the lines clear and ready for Thursday 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
- Nite Owl bus service for the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines-SEPTA’s two busiest routes-will operate on Tuesday night. However, 24-hour train service will be in operation Wednesday night/ Thursday morning on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines. 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 Wednesday, March 21, SEPTA will activate its Regional Rail Severe Storm Service Plan, (https://www5.septa.org/travel/winter-weather/). 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 (click here for the schedule: https://www.septa.org/schedules/rail/special/pdf/WIL_1.html).
- 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 at https://www5.septa.org/media/social-media/.
Snow Could Impact Norristown High Speed Line
- The NHSL will operate every 20 minutes; however, snow accumulations near eight inches can cover the electrified third rail. In that case, service will most likely be suspended to avoid trapping vehicles.
Historically Affected Bus Routes to be Detoured Beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday
(Earlier if Conditions Warrant)
- SEPTA will cut back and/or detour bus service along routes that are historically impacted by storms, such as hilly areas or on tight streets: Routes 7, 9, 14, 15B, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 35, 38, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 61, 62, 65, 70, 73, 77, 84, 88, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 99, 103, 107, 108, 112, 114, 117, 119, 120, 124, 125, 126, G, H, XH, J, K, and L.
- Additional bus routes could be detoured or suspended if road conditions deteriorate.
- Bus detours will be posted online at realtime.septa.org/system. 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
- CCT is currently planning for full service on Wednesday, March 21, 2018; however, CCT riders should anticipate delays due to the impending weather conditions. Keep in mind service reductions may become necessary if conditions deteriorate during the day. Sidewalks and steps not cleared of accumulated snow, ice and/or streets blocked by stuck vehicles may prevent safe boarding and transport. Please contact CCT Control Center at (215) 580-7720 to cancel trips if you do not plan to ride or to inquire about the status of any pending same day trips. 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 6 a.m. Service updates will be posted at www.septa.org.