SEPTA changing schedules, adding service to hopefully boost ridership

A person looks out of a SEPTA Regional Rail train

File photo: A SEPTA Regional Rail train headed to Center City, Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

SEPTA is adding some service in their continuing effort to increase ridership.

The transit agency is expanding its schedule beginning Aug. 21 to help bring back riders to the line, according to spokesperson Kelly Greene.

“These changes are going to maintain regional rail service at 77% of pre-COVID levels. Regional rail ridership has returned gradually, and that’s currently at about 45% of pre-pandemic levels. So, we’re running high frequency service. We have significant capacity available. So, there’s plenty of room on board,” Greene said.

“The most significant change is the extension of service to the New Wawa station on what’s now called the Media-Wawa line. And we’ll have early morning inbound, late night outbound and express trips to and from Wawa station,” according to Greene.

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Other highlights include some early morning weekend trips on the airport line and some earlier trips to Center City on the Trenton, Lansdale, Doylestown, and West Trenton Lines.

SEPTA has done a number of service upgrades in addition to improving security on the rails and the buses to improve ridership in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The transit agency is extending its free parking at train stations until the end of the year to give people a chance to sample the upgrades. That move is designed to bring more suburban people into the city via mass transit.

The new schedules and updated information are available at SEPTA.org, the SEPTA App, and through social media updates.

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