SEPTA is reducing service levels for all modes of transit starting Sunday, Mar. 22. The decision comes as less people are using public transportation due to the coronavirus.
In place of the usual weekday routine, all service lines will instead closely Saturday schedules. This includes buses, the Market-Frankford Line, the Broad Street Line, Trolleys and the Norristown High Speed Line.
More information on exact schedules is available on the SEPTA website here.
Recent numbers show ridership has dropped 88 percent on the Regional Rail as less people head to work. On other forms of transportation, ridership has dropped 64 percent.
“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication our workforce has shown during this unprecedented crisis,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “Everyone is pulling in the same direction, and that gives me great hope that we will ultimately pull through this very trying time.”
SEPTA is also moving some employees from operating trains and buses to helping with sanitation efforts. This is part of the authority’s efforts perform extra cleaning at stations and vehicles.
Starting Friday, Mar. 20, SEPTA is closing ticket station windows and waiting rooms temporarily. Riders can still buy tickets at the five Center City Ticket Offices and the SEPTA Key Fare Kiosks.
With the ridership decrease comes an obvious decrease in revenues for the authority. SEPTA is currently analyzing cost-savings measures.
“To start, we have instituted a 10 percent pay reduction for myself and the Executive Team. This takes effect immediately,” Richards said in a letter. “A number of other cost-cutting measures have been put into place or will be soon, including elimination of overtime, a freeze on new hires, eliminating marketing efforts where possible, eliminating non-essential employee travel, and we are considering further service reductions on Regional Rail and Transit.”
Despite a $7.3 million surplus for the first eight months of the fiscal year, Richards said SEPTA expects a $150 million loss.