Increased Ridership Making SEPTA Regional Rail Packed

About 15 percent of SEPTA train cars are out of service each day. Could bi-level coaches be the answer?

Septa regional rail train

I rode a 7 a.m. train into town on Monday morning, and it was packed. Every part of it! I don’t often ride the regional rail into Center City at rush hour, so I was surprised by the number of people on the train. I had to stand! The conductor squeezed by me after taking my ticket.

This is apparently the case on lots of lines. The Inquirer reports today regional rail trains are packed because of increased ridership and the frequency which cars go out of service.

About 15 percent of SEPTA railcars are out of service every day. Ridership is up four percent this year and 50 percent from 15 years ago, per the paper.

There’s no quick fix to this, though SEPTA says it’s working to keep its trains from being short of cars. Buried in the Inky’s report, however, is this mention:

Planners are drawing up specifications for an order of 36 bi-level coaches and 13 new locomotives.

Bi-level coaches! Double-decker trains. If you’ve ever ridden on NJ Transit to New York City, you know how much fun it is to ride on a double-decker train. Okay, it’s petty much exactly the same as usual, but, you know, two levels! C’mon, you know you’re curious about a bi-level SEPTA coach.