SEPTA announces extra buses to alleviate Regional Rail crunch

Beginning September 6, SEPTA will run supplemental express buses during the morning and evening rush hours on some of the Regional Rail lines hardest hit by the railcar shortage that has disrupted service since Independence Day weekend.

The express buses will run from limited stations while SEPTA continues to replace the cracked equalizer beams that sidelined all 120 of the authority’s relatively new Silverliner V railcars. SEPTA hopes to finish those repairs by November. With around a third of SEPTA’s railcars out of commission, Regional Rail riders have suffered through a summer of cramped trains and skipped stops. With summer vacations ending, ridership demands are expected to increase significantly before all of the repairs can be finished. SEPTA hopes the express buses will help alleviate the crush. SEPTA has also leased 48 railcars from other commuter rail operators.

Regular bus fares will apply to the express bus service, meaning passengers can ride using weekly or monthly TransPasses, tokens, transfers or $2.25 in exact change. SEPTA Key cards loaded with TransPasses will also work.

The buses will only operate during the morning and evening peaks with departures between 6:30 – 8:30 a.m. and 4 – 6 p.m., exclusively at the stations and times listed below. [UPDATE: SEPTA’s original press release said the buses would be hourly; that was a mistake. An udpated release says the buses will run more frequently than that.]

Chestnut Hill East and West Lines:

STATIONS: Chestnut Hill East, Chestnut Hill West, Wyndmoor/St. Martins and Sedgwick
To-and-from the Fern Rock Transportation Center to connect with the Broad Street Line and Broad Ridge Spur:

  • AM Express Buses depart between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. from Chestnut Hill East Station, with stops at Chestnut Hill West Station, Wyndmoor/St. Martins Station and Sedgwick Station.
  • PM Express Buses depart Fern Rock between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. with stops to the same stations.

Fox Chase Line:

STATION: Fox Chase
To-and-from the Fern Rock Transportation Center for connections with the Broad Street Line and Broad Ridge Spur:

  • AM Express Buses depart Fox Chase Station between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m.
  • PM Express Buses depart Fern Rock between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to Fox Chase Station.

Airport, Warminster, West Trenton and Lansdale/Doylestown Lines:

STATIONS: Jenkintown-Wyncote and Elkins Park
To-and-from the Fern Rock Transportation Center for connections with the Broad Street Line and Broad Ridge Spur:

  • AM Express Buses depart between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. from Jenkintown-Wyncote Station and stop at Elkins Park Station.
  • PM Express Buses depart Fern Rock between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to Jenkintown-Wyncote and Elkins Park.

Manayunk/Norristown Line:

STATIONS: Ivy Ridge, Manayunk, and Wissahickon
To-and-from Suburban Station in Center City:

  • AM Express Buses depart between 6:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. from Ivy Ridge Station, then stop at Manayunk Station and Wissahickon Station en route to Suburban Station.
  • PM Express Buses depart 17th Street and JFK Boulevard between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to the same outlying stations.

Media/Elwyn Line:

STATION: Swarthmore
To-and-from AT&T Station for connections with the Broad Street Line:

  • AM Express Buses depart at 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. from Swarthmore Station for travel to AT&T Station.
  • PM Express Buses depart AT&T Station between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. to Swarthmore.

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