Starting Now, SEPTA Going to Cancel Even More Trains

Last weekend, SEPTA cancelled 8 regional rail trains. Why? Not enough conductors and engineers. Why? Federal work rules were tightened in 2011, limiting the amount of overtime rail workers can log. And that’s a problem for the chronically understaffed SEPTA, which relies on conductors and engineers to work overtime hours in order for trains to run properly. In other words, trains are probably gonna keep getting cancelled, going forward.

Including overtime, the Inquirer writes, SEPTA conductors and engineers can pull down $120,000 a year. That may sound like a lot, but they’re working a lot of hours to get there. The most a SEPTA conductor can pull down is $26.75 an hour. Assume he’s making the maximum, that averages out to more than 12 hours per day–including weekends. Because of all that overtime, two-thirds of engineers are not available for weekend work. Hence the problem. [Inquirer]