As the region braces for its first winter storm of the season, SEPTA is preparing to make service changes that promote safety throughout the transit system.
With the peak of the storm expected Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, SEPTA will take the following proactive steps to preserve service for customers:
- The Market-Frankford (MFL) and Broad Street (BSL) Lines will operate overnight rail service in lieu of Owl buses. If customers must travel during the inclement weather, their best bet is to take the MFL and BSL. These lines are SEPTA’s workhorses, and the authority will do everything possible to keep this service available for riders.
- The City Trolley Tunnel will remain open overnight Wednesday into Thursday. SEPTA announced last week that the authority plans to close the tunnel during overnight hours until further notice to allow time for crews to perform maintenance work and deep cleanings at stations. Similar to keeping the MFL and BSL operating overnight, this will provide an option for service that is out of the elements.
- Norristown High Speed Line service will be suspended for late night and overnight service. The last trip from 69th Street Transportation Center will depart at 10:10 p.m., and the final trip from Norristown Transportation Center is scheduled for 10:46 p.m. This line is fully exposed to the elements, and difficult to operate with significant snow accumulation. Crews will work through the night to clear the tracks, with the goal of resuming service at 5 a.m. on Thursday.
- There will be no changes to Regional Rail schedules, however, delays and trip cancellations are possible. Regional Rail continues to operate on a limited schedule due to COVID-19, with hourly service on most lines.
- Bus detours and cancellations are expected as road conditions deteriorate. SEPTA will focus on keeping priority routes open to preserve access to essential jobs and services.
Storms like this one are particularly challenging for SEPTA. The heavy snow, ice, and strong winds of a nor’easter can bring down overhead power lines and trees along Regional Rail and trolley lines.