If you’re riding the train, the answer is probably “slowly.”
— Marie (@MariefromPA) July 5, 2016
But to paraphrase SEPTA’s infamously modest slogan, at least you’re getting there.
With regional rail capacity down by a third to a half, SEPTA’s commuter lines will be running on a modified Saturday schedule at least through the end of the month, if not longer. Over the Fourth of July weekend, SEPTA removed about a third of its commuter train fleet, citing safety concerns related to a rash of cracks in an important structural beam.
Tuesday and Wednesday, riders took to Twitter to voice frustration — and poke fun at — the delays.
— Philly GOP (@PhillyGOP) July 6, 2016
The 65,000 people who ride SEPTA’s 13 regional rail routes to and from work everyday DO have other options.
“This experience does show, for some people, that they could take their bike to a bus stop, to a trolley stop and combine biking with another form of public transportation,” said Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “I think that’s the opportunity that this situation presents to the region.”
She said bike ridership has gotten a bump in the past when different transit workers unions have struck.
The coalition shared a handy map for folks who want to try out this (admittedly steamy) commute:
Ridesharing is not just for after school — the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has been pushing carpooling as an environmentally friendly way for people to commute between suburban counties for 20 years.
The website’s Share-a-Ride function shows transit options, but also puts applicants in touch with county Transit Management Associations that may have van pools. TMAs also match commuters who may wish to carpool.
So far, 2,500 people across the region have applications on file, according to Stacy Bartels, manager of DVRPC’s office of marketing and commuter services.
… At least part of the way. SEPTA freed up 1,900 free parking spaces to connect regional rail riders to the Broad Street and Market Frankford Lines, but most have been sitting empty the last two days.
“There did not seem to be an increase of people using the parking lots at Festival Pier, the Naval Hospital parking lot and at the Norristown Transportation Center … so we really need to encourage people to use them,” said SEPTA spokeswoman Heather Redfern.
According to NewsWorks’ Twitter-sourced responses, some have gotten the message and are changing their commuting habits:
@LEBenshoff my plan is to start catching a ride to 3rd and spring garden from bucks county then hop on the el then trolley to cc
— fay (@faithlovesmath) July 6, 2016
— margaret powell (@marpoauthor) July 6, 2016
@LEBenshoff I drove — and I commute to Philly from Dover, Del. so it's a long haul.
— rkipp (@rkipp) July 6, 2016