Did SEPTA Bungle Tuesday’s Rush Hour?

SEPTA riders are still dealing with weather-related issues.

Septa regional rail train

When it snows, there are going to be huge crowds for public transit. Trains are going to run late. Commute time is going to skyrocket. Riders can complain all they want, but in the end people are going to have to deal.

But that doesn’t mean SEPTA gets off the hook. SEPTA may be called “outstanding” by some, but passengers routinely blast SEPTA in good weather. Clearly, people are right to be skeptical of how it dealt with Tuesday’s snow.


KYW 1060's Mike Dunn has a report on whether SEPTA could have "done more" with Tuesday's snow:

SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jim Knueppel says shifting operations quickly is logistically difficult.
“There’s a lot of issues. There’s a lot of vehicle logistics. There’s not only having (enough) engineers but also the conductors.”

And then there are federal regulations. “The federal government places requirements on how many hours and when our crews can work. And if we had moved them into normally our break periods, we wouldn’t have had them for late at night, then other people would have been stranded.”

So... yes? No? Maybe? It's good to know we can always blame the feds, at least. To be fair, not all of this is SEPTA's fault. Weather slows down everyone on the road, and buses are no doubt dealing with terrible city drivers who forget how to drive the instant there's a hint of snow.

Still, riders are still dealing with SEPTA issues, though, as a Twitter search shows:

Some delayed riders take it better than others, as you can see.

  • phillysportsfan

    part of “leadership,” i think, is when faced with a situation like this making a decision that perhaps the rules and regulations, which may make perfect sense under optimal conditions might need to be temporarily suspended when faced with extraordinary circumstances, and that “taking responsibility” means standing up and saying, yes, i did it, here’s why and accepting any fallout from that decision gracefully. it isn’t, otoh, blaming rules and regulations for your inaction.

    • PAPlan

      So you want SEPTA to break federal laws? The guy can’t be a leader if he loses his job. That’s just silly.

      • DTurner

        Yeah….breaking federal laws is just going to get the feds breathing down SEPTA’s back, meaning costly oversight measures and potentially even reduced service.

    • LexS

      This isn’t “SEPTA Policy” – this is the Federal Government they are talking about. If they violated these rules, it would result in severe fines and other consequences that, in the long run, just wouldn’t be beneficial for one storm.

      Federal Regulation is why a third of the old capital budget was dedicated towards a fancy new signal system throughout the SEPTA Railroad network when bridges are in a state of disrepair.

  • DTurner

    I’m just wondering what “idgaf” means…

    Also, automated trains (at least on city transit) would reduce the necessity for crews. It all kind of sucks and there is really no one to blame here, other than the weather and the feds, both of which are attractive lightning poles for public ire.

    • kellyspringles

      “i don’t give a fuck”

  • Robert Stample

    fucking niggers always trying to threaten someone. KL34

  • LexS

    What this says is that there needs to be better coordination and emergency planning for storms like this. When every school and business closes at the same time, and the roads are horrible, then you’ll just have chaos. All of the major roadways were jammed, causing buses to be jammed. Even if SEPTA were able to put out a call to all of the crews to come in immediately, they would have had a heck of a time getting to their report point, much less downtown.