SEPTA says El ridership up, repairs still in process

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Commuters crowd a Market Frankford El train. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Commuters crowd a Market Frankford El train. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

More riders were crowding onto SEPTA Market Frankford El cars Tuesday than Monday.  

With dozens of cars sidelined for inspections and repairs, more commuters were taking advantage of shuttle buses as well.

SEPTA was running the Market Frankford El with only about 75 percent of the cars needed for a normal rush hour Tuesday.

Ridership was up about 15 percent on the second day of the shortage, said spokeswoman Carla Showell Lee. What’s more, trains were not meeting the goal of running every six minutes, she said.

“So we were missing our six-minute headway.  What happens when you have a delay on one end, of course, you have the residual effects of that,” she said. “It did cause a bit of a backup, so we had to put out more buses to make sure people got to where they needed to go.”

About two dozen shuttle buses were pressed into service, and Showell Lee said they will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

SEPTA engineers and consultants are continuing work to investigate and repair the cracks on the damaged trains.

Showall Lee said the authority is closely monitoring passenger load via video cameras.

“We’re probably going to see the same amount of activity,” she said. “The nice part of what we can do is sit in the control center … where we can see where there’s an increase in ridership.”

If there the platforms are crowded, SEPTA will send buses to shuttle commuters.

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