As the summer begins, SEPTA will again offer overnight weekend service on two major city lines as part of a pilot program.
After more than 20 years of running buses overnight, SEPTA general manager Joe Casey said the transit agency will start overnight subway service on the Broad Street and Market Frankford Lines beginning June 15 at 12 a.m. The summer pilot program will cost $400,000 for increased security.
“We will have extensive police presence out there, but we are also looking at ridership,” Casey said. “Boston recently put back late night service on some of their lines, and the ridership has quadrupled. That is something we will look at.”
Area businesses and entertainment venues have sought the after-midnight service, which will cover Friday and Saturday nights starting with the second weekend.
“It used to be at 6 o’clock, downtown Philadelphia would roll up the sidewalks,” Casey said. “That’s no longer the case. It’s vibrant now, there are lots of fantastic, world-class restaurants in downtown Philadelphia people are frequenting, and we need to respond to that.”
Not all the stations will be manned by cashiers, but Casey said when no cashier is present, the train conductor will collect fares. The trains are scheduled to run every 20 minutes, and there will be late-night service on the Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays.