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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA to extend weekend overnight subway service


The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is extending indefinitely a pilot program involving the operation of overnight subway service on weekends on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines.

Since the pilot service was launched June 15, an average of 15,000 riders have boarded trains on weekends between midnight and 5 a.m. — a significant increase over the baseline average of 9,000 riders who previously used the weekend Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines Nite Owl service operated with buses, SEPTA officials said in a press release.

Overnight passenger gains have been strongest on the Market-Frankford Line, which averages 10,000 riders each weekend. The highest ridership numbers were noted at 15th Street and 2nd Street stations. An average of 5,000 riders board trains on the Broad Street Line during weekend pilot hours, with robust ridership recorded at Walnut-Locust and Lombard-South Stations, SEPTA officials said.

The agency also evaluated passenger safety issues, which have been minimal, they said. SEPTA Police presence was increased on overnight trains.

"Late night customers have proven, by riding in record numbers each weekend, that this is service they want," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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