SEPTA moves deep cleaning to Erie-Torresdale El stop this weekend

A file photo shows a SEPTA worker repairing a trolley track during a cleaning blitz. (SEPTA)

A file photo shows a SEPTA worker repairing a trolley track during a cleaning blitz. (SEPTA)

SEPTA maintenance crews will move their deep cleaning operation to the Erie-Torresdale station of the Market-Frankford Line Friday through Sunday this weekend.

The cleaning gives crews eight hours instead of the traditional four — enough time for a full-power polish. “It’s power-washing, removing litter, removing debris, getting graffiti, trying to get the stations in the best shape we can get them in,” said Andrew Busch, a spokesperson for the transit agency.

Erie-Torresdale is the tenth station on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines that has been cleaned using the extended time method.

Busch said the cleaning is a part of preparation for what they hope is more riders returning to SEPTA. “It’s obviously a trend that we are looking to build upon as we move into September and into the fall,” Busch said.

The extended cleaning effort has not been without its issues. SEPTA’s two-week closure of the Somerset station, to repair elevators damaged by urine and needles, caught many residents by surprise in March and sparked protests.

Busch said they are continuing to do the best they can to keep the system clean and operating well, and, even after the deep cleaning, will continue a regular maintenance schedule at the stations.

“We do have to make sure we’re continuing to go back regularly right after it, so we don’t finish up a deep cleaning and say we’re done with Erie-Torresdale for a while,” said Busch. “Crews will be right back in there as they regularly would be on Monday.”

Busch said the recent cleanings have gone beyond the basics with steps taken to tackle homelessness and drug addiction problems that surround the stations. “We’ve increased security presence, we have social outreach teams to help people who are experiencing homelessness, struggling with addiction.” He said the transit agency knows the stations are a gathering point for people and they have dedicated more resources for them.

While the Erie-Torresdale station is closed, SEPTA is asking riders to use the Tioga or Church Street stations as an alternative. Ambassadors from the transit agency will be on hand to assist those who do not know the stations are closed and find a ride using buses or other options.

The next stop on the cleaning blitz will be the 60th Street Station of the Market-Frankford line on Aug. 27 to Aug. 29.

For more information on the shutdown, you can go to SEPTA’s website at http://www.septa.org/alert/mfl.html.

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