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December 09, 2015

SEPTA's coming regional rail changes biggest in 'well over 20 years'

Transportation Regional Rail
SEPTA changes Hayden Mitman/for PhillyVoice

Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations at SEPTA, details changes coming to the transit system's regional rail lines. The schedule changes are set to take place on Dec. 13.

On Wednesday, Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations at SEPTA, detailed coming changes to the city's regional rail system, describing them as the "most comprehensive schedule changes in well over 20 years." 

"We always make minor adjustments, but this is a complete overhaul," he said. 

In a press event held at SEPTA's headquarters on Market Street, Hopkins detailed the schedule and station changes that will take effect on Dec. 13. The biggest moves will occur on the West Trenton, Warminster and Airport regional rail lines. 

"People like our regional rail service, but they were frustrated by delays," said Hopkins. 

In an effort to address delays, Hopkins said the West Trenton and Warminster lines will no longer continue on to the airport on weekdays. These trains will also no longer travel to University City on weekdays, either. 

Also, on weekdays, from 6 to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 7 p.m., the Airport line will only travel between the Temple University and Airport stations. Between 9:25 a.m. and 3 p.m., and after 7 p.m. on weekdays, the Airport line will operate between the Jenkintown-Wyncote and Airport stations. 

"Some stations will change where customers reach their final destination," said Hopkins. "There are plenty of trains that will still take you to University City." 

These changes, Hopkins said, are intended to address rider concerns over delays on these lines. 

And, because of how the trains are linked in the system, Hopkins said, the public transit service believes trains on all regional rail lines could run on a more reliable schedule thanks to these changes. 

After hearing rider complaints, and studying how to address the problem for about a year, Hopkins said, SEPTA determined that these changes to the regional rail schedule could help the trains run on a more reliable timetable. 

"The reliability has not been up to our standards," he said. "We believe the changes are going to ensure a marked improvement, not only on these lines, but ... on all lines." 

For more information on the changes coming to SEPTA's regional rail system on Dec. 13, click here