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January 24, 2020

SEPTA to end A/B stops on Market-Frankford Line next month

The announcement comes as ridership along the Market-Frankford Line has increased

SEPTA Market-Frankford Line
Stock_Carroll - Market-Frankford Line Subway Trains Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A train on the Market-Frankford Line arrives at the Berks station, Jan. 18, 2018.

The long-running “skip-stop” system on SEPTA’s Market-Frankford Line is coming to an end next month. 

The Greater Philadelphia transit authority announced that it will end A/B stops on the Market-Frankford Line during rush hour on February 23. Therefore, there won’t be anymore “A and B” trains that stop at every other station on the line at peak hours.

The decision to have trains stop at every station on the line was made last week, according to the Inquirer.

The purpose of the change is to address wait times for commuters, especially at stations on the east side of the line as more riders have come onboard over the last several years from neighborhoods such as Fishtown and Kensington. Noe, shorter wait times are expected for passengers.

The decision was made following a pilot program over the course of a few months in 2018 when SEPTA tested out no skip-stop service on weekday mornings.

“The pilot program was helpful in demonstrating that we could provide all-stop service without impacting service quality for our customers,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said to WHYY.

Eight stations along the Market-Frankford Line have been “A or B” stops that are skipped by every other train at peak times.

The skip-stop system was implemented in the mid-20th century to better spread out riders during busy travel times on weekdays at a time when North Philadelphia did not have the high population numbers that it does today. If the trains stopped at every other station on the Market-Frankford Line, there would be more time for commuters to board and less overcrowding. 

Corresponding schedule changes and an increase in the frequency of trains running during peak hours are expected to be announced over the next month too.