SEPTA says crew shortages prompted cancellation of eight trains last weekend, and the problem is chronic and may worsen.
The Philadelphia Inquirer says SEPTA is citing a 2011 toughening of federal work rules that have reduced the number of hours crews on passenger trains can work in a week or month.
SEPTA engineers and conductors work overtime each week and are paid accordingly due to a shortage of qualified workers, complex rush-hour scheduling and the agency’s desire to limit costs for employee benefits.
SEPTA has 194 locomotive engineers and needs 213 for full staffing. Five conductors who have completed training to be engineers will be working this week and 16 more are being trained in a yearlong program.