December 05, 2016

SEPTA's new Regional Rail schedules go into effect next week

Transportation SEPTA
SEPTA Train Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A SEPTA train.

SEPTA riders will wrap up a tumultuous year with new Regional Rail schedules as transit officials continue efforts to improve service.

The transit agency released new schedules - available online now - that will go into effect Sunday, Dec. 11, and are designed to improve on-time performance for weekday service.

Adjustments have been made on all but three of SEPTA's Regional Rail lines. The Cynwyd, Glenside Combined and West Trenton Lines have not been altered.

Departure times for most affected trains have either been delayed or bumped up a few minutes. However, multiple trains will be adjusted up to 28 minutes earlier or later.

Four Regional Rail lines have significant changes on at least a dozen trains: Lansdale/Doylestown (21), Fox Chase (20), Manayunk/Norristown (13) and Paoli/Thorndale (12). Those numbers include the addition of three trains on Manayunk/Norristown and one on Lansdale/Doylestown.

Last Friday, SEPTA officials warned riders about updated timetables while acknowledging the "tremendous burden" that was placed on customers this summer when a third of the agency's Regional Rail fleet was taken out of service due to a structural defect. Repairs on the Silverliner V cars are nearing completion, SEPTA said.

To regain riders' confidence, SEPTA launched a new effort called the "Regional Rail Service Improvement Program." The page can be found on the agency's website, where customers can learn about challenges facing the agency and initiatives aimed at providing better service, including the purchase of new locomotives and bi-level cars.

SEPTA officials are hoping this effort builds customer trust for the system, which officials say has enjoyed four consecutive years of record ridership.