SEPTA slow getting back up to speed

    SEPTA is struggling to dig itself out of its storm-related service cuts. This morning many bus routes and some regional rail service were suspended.

    SEPTA is struggling to dig itself out of its storm-related service cuts. This morning many bus routes and some regional rail lines were suspended.  Ridership was way down this morning.

    On a typical weekday morning SEPTA carries about half a million people, but this was not a typical morning. SEPTA reports only 20 percent of its regular riders came onboard.

    One of them was Tuyen Vu of Upper Darby, who walked a mile in the snow to get to the subway because the bus never came.

    Vu: “We don’t know if it was cancelled or delayed. We waited 5 minutes and kept on walking.”

    A SEPTA spokesman said this morning was “rough” on the system. Andrew Busch says SEPTA electrical systems are particularly vulnerable to snow and ice.

    Busch: If the electric’s out, we can’t run the trains, and we want to make sure we’re not sending out a train with people on it and it gets stranded. You have people in a train in a potentially unsafe situation.

    During and after the storm, SEPTA exercised its new policy of cancelling routes whenever offficials judge that the weather poses too great a threat of stranding passengers.

    Busch said most of those who did use SEPTA took the Market-Frankford and Broad Street subways, which have been operating normally

    Busch: People got the word that those were very good options in this kind of thing and are gravitating toward that. Hopefully, we’ll get everything else up for them very soon.

    Busch says unplowed streets and obstructions like fallen tree branches have also hampered surface trains and buses

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