Philly Septa Strike: Commuter Nightmares!!

Do not manage something that is working fine” These are indeed words of wisdom and I was taught these by the Septa Strike that started in Philadelphia, PA on 03-November-2016.

Septa Regional Rail was functional. First day saw Septa workers try to manage the Crowds by having a queue system where they let only 150 people on the train at each station. Now this does seem fair if the train had a capacity of 450 – 500. And if there were 2 busier stops after ours.

My Train Line = Media Elwyn.
This train makes pickups at 4 important stops: Jefferson Station, Suburban Station, 30th Street Station and University City. We have 5 trains between 4:30pm and 5:30pm. And the trains are fairly uncrowded save an odd day or two.
I usually board this train at Suburban Station.

Day 1: I got on the tracks at 4:30pm and had to wait in a humungous line that moved ever so slowly. I finally boarded a train at 5:45pm. Now, this would have been acceptable had the train been full. It was not. Surprisingly the train was relatively empty (not relatively full) throughout the ride and I know for a fact that there were at least 500 additional folks waiting in a line in Suburban Station.

Day 2: This day I got wiser and decided to take a few photos if the above situation repeated itself. I stood in the line at 4:45pm. I was lucky enough to board by 5:30pm. (30 minutes saved compared to prior day). I spoke to an attendant who said they were doing things differently. Below are the images of how differently the train ride was.

Snapshot 01: After the train left Suburban Station
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Snapshot 02: After the train left 30th Street Station
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Snapshot 03: After the train left University City
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Due to some confusion passengers were told this is a local train and it turned out to be an express. As a result, folks had to get out at subsequent stops to ensure that they are on right train.

The trains are running empty. Does Septa not know this ?? How, there are folks checking tickets on the train. They would surely have noticed that half the train is empty. Why then are we made to wait an hour at Suburban Station ?Guess things are different after all !!

I have never tried counting capacity of a Septa Car. This particular one seems capable of seating over 100 people easily. The train had around 7 cars. So why would Septa let only 150 people board at every station ??

1 Comment

  1. I still dread those queues ! It was the perfect case of blowing up a situation to make it seem worse than it actually is. Have to say that it was very badly managed by the authorities.

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