In support of the City of Philadelphia’s decision to relax its Safer at Home restrictions due to the continuing drop in new reported cases of COVID-19 and ongoing increases in vaccinations, SEPTA is ready to welcome back more riders.
“SEPTA will play a major role in the region’s recovery from the pandemic, and we are excited to see more riders starting to come back,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “Our employees have been working hard to maintain essential services during the pandemic, and we want residents to know that we are ready to get them to work, school, restaurants, special events, and other destinations.”
Focus on Health & Safety
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SEPTA has implemented protocols to enhance safety for customers and employees. SEPTA personnel have been actively engaging customers about the importance of wearing face coverings, and compliance with the mask mandate remains at a high level. The authority will also continue with enhanced cleaning efforts for vehicles and stations.
SEPTA has also closely examined ventilation on its vehicles and has upgraded some air filters. SEPTA’s buses, trains and trolleys are very well ventilated – air fully changes on all vehicles every two-to-three minutes, due to a combination of efficient HVAC systems and doors opening frequently for customers to board and exit. This rate of air exchange far exceeds CDC recommendations for indoor public spaces. The authority is also coordinating with its industry peers and experts at Drexel University to stay on the cutting edge of risk assessment, mitigation, and communication strategies.
Renewing Stations & Enhancing Security
SEPTA is committed to tackling critical safety, security, and infrastructure needs at stations where there are significant challenges with the vulnerable population that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Efforts have focused on reinforcing key structures, including those supporting stairs and passenger crossovers, along with installing enhanced lighting, more cameras, new signage, painting, and deep cleaning.
SEPTA Transit Police are assigned to stations and vehicles throughout the service day and are working closely with outreach specialists to connect those in need to substance use treatment, behavioral health services, and other assistance. Security guards have also been added to augment the enhanced policing, and SEPTA is working with community leaders and City officials to coordinate efforts.
New Tools for Customers, Welcome Back Campaign
Earlier this month, SEPTA launched a new online tool to provide customers with information about seat availability on-board vehicles as they plan their trips. The Estimated Seat Availability Dashboard is now on SEPTA’s website, with information available for most bus routes. This data will expand in the coming months to cover all of SEPTA’s modes of travel.
SEPTA is also launching a new marketing campaign to officially welcome back customers. The SEPTA is the Way to Go campaign mixes evergreen messages like SEPTA’s convenience and efficiency with timely topics like cleanliness and safety. This campaign is rooted in SEPTA’s heritage with an eye to the future, told through the lens and voice of real SEPTA riders.
Savings on Fares, SEPTA Key Information
As a reminder, the SEPTA Board approved a Fare Restructuring Plan last June that included free rides for children under 12 on all modes, one free transfer for Transit trips, and the introduction of new three-day passes. These passes are intended to help meet changing commuting patterns, including teleworking, and the needs of riders who work long shifts as part of a three-day work week. The focus of the Fare Restructuring Plan was equity, affordability, and ease-of-travel, and SEPTA remains committed to those goals moving forward.
Riders who may need a refresher on SEPTA Key, including how to use Travel Wallet, tap on and off for fare validation on Regional Rail, and purchase or reload a Key Card, should visit the SEPTA Key ecommerce site at septakey.org.