For some people, getting onto a crowded bus even after vaccines are widely distributed is difficult to imagine. Before the pandemic, cleanliness was identified as an area "where SEPTA must improve" in a 2018 customer satisfaction survey. Ron Goren, who specializes in infectious diseases at Nazareth Hospital in Northeast Philadelphia, concurs. SEPTA on Wednesday announced it will begin to phase out paper ticket sales on Regional Rail lines in favor of a key card program that promotes no contact fare payment. The city doesn't "really have any good data conclusively linking travel on SEPTA or other public transit to cases of COVID" and "it's difficult to tell if riding public transit took place as a possible exposure or if it happened while they were infectious," said Jim Garrow, health department spokesperson. Earlier this year, SEPTA’s board approved nearly $91,000 to buy additional handheld devices used to sell and validate fare for Regional Rail conductors to use on-board. One of his greatest achievements was the rebuild of Dayton’s electric trolley system through infrastructure upgrades and the creation of the new NexGen dual-mode trolley bus. While "we're much less worried about surfaces than we were six months ago," said Henry Fraimow, infectious-disease specialist at Cooper University Health Care, SEPTA has continued enhanced cleaning protocols since March. "One thing that I think most people don't appreciate is that there is good air exchange in public transit," Fraimow said. Between daylight saving time and changes to SEPTA Regional Rail schedules, commuters will need to pay close attention before heading out the door next week. The devil is in the details, which are missing. OP-ED: New York Gov. The text HTML schedules are times only; they do not contain many service notes printed in the PDF and paper versions of our schedules. Some of these trains operate on SEPTA controlled track and some on Amtrak territory. The Chestnut Hill East, Fox Chase, Lansdale - Doylestown, Manayunk - Norristown, Trenton, and Wilmington - Newark lines are all operating on new schedules. To be clear, there is potential risk of getting infected on transit, according to a half-dozen health experts who spoke with The Inquirer, but it's a manageable risk like going into a store or dining outdoors. When making the announcement, SEPTA general manager Leslie Richards said: "Studies during the pandemic have shown that public transportation is safe, and there have been no direct links between riding SEPTA and contracting the coronavirus. The authority is also replacing air filters more frequently. Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Paper tickets will continue to be accepted through the valid date stamped on the back and valid for 180 days from the purchase date. SEPTA Key Card loaded with a Weekly or Monthly Zone 1 or higher TrailPass, One Day Independence Pass or 3 Pass Independence Pass Bundle; or Cross County Pass (as applicable) SEPTA Key Card loaded with valid TransPass or a Cross County Pass is good for ANYWHERE travel on WEEKENDS and major holidays. SEPTA Advancing King of Prussia Rail Extension Written by Marybeth Luczak , Executive Editor Five stations are planned for SEPTA’s 3.5-mile King of Prussia rail extension, including the First and Moore/Valley Forge Station (rendering above). Transit agencies, which have received emergency relief to help stem COVID-19 losses, will "have to budget and plan for a pretty significant lag to get back to full ridership," said Ben Fried of TransitCenter, a New York-based advocacy group for public transit. While telecommuting will continue to keep riders off SEPTA, which is still losing about $1 million a day, so will the general stigma of uncleanliness attached to public transportation. The misperception of mass transit being a hotbed for COVID-19 transmission could contribute to a push for private cars for those who can afford one, clogging roads, creating further funding woes, and deteriorating service for riders who depend on transit most. SEPTA is the first commuter rail operator in North America that is preparing to deploy new wire scanner technology, which will monitor its network of overhead wires on the Regional Rail. Six lines are affected. Photo credit SEPTA. A file photo of a SEPTA Regional Rail train heading toward Center City. "A bus that's empty is ultimately safer for you, but not sustainable for society," he said. "If the health agency thinks it's safe for people to be dining indoors, then they should make it clear that it's also safe to be riding buses and trains.". Massachusetts Governor appoints Jamey Tesler as acting MassDOT Secretary. With the launch of the SEPTA Key Card Travel Wallet feature for Regional Rail, the sale of paper tickets, single trip, and 10 trip strips ended October 2, 2020. Service Advisory Beginning Tuesday, September 15 2020, the Philadelphia International Airport Terminal A stop - center and baggage claim platforms – will be closed to customer and train travel. "We've done nothing to try to change those fears," he said. Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT), Denver RTD, Auraria Campus negotiate pilot program for spring semester. With the launch of the SEPTA Key Card Travel Wallet feature for Regional Rail, the sale of paper tickets, single trip, and 10 trip strips ended October 2, 2020. For many people, that's not an option. PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — SEPTA is making a number of changes starting today on the Regional Rails that could affect your trip. All Rights Reserved. Jan. 11—Through the fall, Jerry Fagliano, associate clinical professor and chair at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health, was one of SEPTA Regional Rail's lone riders. It's probably obvious to everyone that doing contact tracing on public transportation is extremely difficult, and it, frankly, probably does not happen very often.". PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Changes impacting several SEPTA Regional Rail lines are now in effect. A $186 million infusion of federal stimulus money to the Metropolitan Council should help Metro Transit get through a challenging year after the COVID-19 pandemic devastated ridership on the region's buses and trains. A report commissioned by the American Public Transportation Association "based on a comprehensive review of United States and global research regarding COVID-19 transmission and public transit" found "no direct correlation.". The plan includes $9.7 billion in investments for public transit, roads, bridges, and bicycle and pedestrian improvements. PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)-- SEPTA is making a number of changes starting today on the regional rails that could affect your trip.Six lines are affected. MN: Metro Transit to get millions in federal COVID-19 bailout. It's also on track to start service this fall on the roughly $2 billion Blue Line trolley extension. Jan. 11—Through the fall, Jerry Fagliano, associate clinical professor and chair at Drexel University's Dornsife School of Public Health, was one of SEPTA Regional Rail's lone riders. MARTA partners with GMSDC on mentor protégé connection program. Last month, SEPTA announced a partnership with Drexel to research COVID-19 on mass transit, including the effects of mask-wearing, ventilation, and cleaning. SEPTA vehicles experience 15 to 20 full air exchanges every hour, said Jim Fox, assistant general manager of SEPTA's system safety division. SEPTA is closing 14 Regional Rail ticket offices for 10 weeks starting Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 due to budget problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on … It’s also time for SEPTA to re-imagine the Regional Rail system, a primarily suburb-to-downtown, rush hour service on which ridership has fallen 85 percent. SEPTA Regional Rail lines will begin some much-needed reconstruction work. The authority has a partnership with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium to voluntarily test employees. "When I see any study that says, 'There is no evidence of transmission in blank,' my first question is 'How do they know?'" These updates will impact the Chestnut Hill East, Fox Chase, Lansdale/Doylestown, Manayunk/Norristown, Trenton, and Wilmington/Newark Lines. "A bus that's crowded is sustainable from an economic perspective, but not from a health perspective. PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Changes impacting several SEPTA Regional Rail lines are now in effect. Asked whether the Pennsylvania Department of Health's contact tracing efforts have linked any COVID-19 cases with the use of public transportation in Pennsylvania, a spokesperson said: "Information collected during the case investigation process is not shared publicly unless doing so would help the department in its efforts to stop the spread on a broader scale. SEPTA Key Fares Accepted on Regional Rail. SEPTA is advising customers that some changes are being made to select Regional Rail schedules starting next week. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties TX: Public feedback solicited on multimodal plan. PA: Study looks at the intersection of transit and land use planning, WA: Seattle's 'Transit Fairy' beautifies bus stops during the COVID-19 pandemic, CA: SMART plans for future after coronavirus pandemic, Denver RTD calls all bus and rail operators back to work, Valley Metro, city of Phoenix launch first small business financial assistance program, Mississauga secures C$113.5 million in federal and provincial funding for a dozen transit projects. So, something in the middle is probably the sweet spot for right now.". There's a careful balance to maintain, said Thomas Fekete, chair of the department of medicine and professor of microbiology and immunology at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. Find out which schools are closed in your district. The pilot program will provide discounted, unlimited use of RTD’s local, regional and airport bus and rail service to students for the upcoming spring semester. City drops Philly Fighting COVID week after vaccine clinic, Murphy says NJ needs more COVID vaccine, Rowan megasite reopens, AccuWeather: Light wintry mix today, some icing possible. Our Regional Rail Control Center can "see" all of the trains traveling on SEPTA territory in real time, so the … SEPTA has seen a dip in transit ridership this week amid the coronavirus, though it’s unclear if that’s because people are avoiding public transportation, are directed to work from home, or if mounting event cancellations are keeping them inside. Cuomo promised a $306-billion infrastructure plan that included new air, road and rail systems, upstate and downstate. Safety measures, such as mask-wearing, must be in place, they said, but taking public transportation isn't an activity to be avoided at all costs. © 2021 Endeavor Business Media, LLC. New Regional Rail Schedules The April 23 schedule change will focus on weekday and weekend service adjustments and time adjustments on SEPTA services operating on Amtrak lines to support the final implementation phase of Positive Train Control. Deadly accident involving SEPTA train in Center City Authorities said a person was found under a SEPTA train at 15th and Market streets just before 6 a.m. Wednesday. SEPTA said that they are currently offering about 57 percent of pre-pandemic regional rail service, but ridership is only about 15 percent of what it was in early March 2020. Something about the vacant seats and eerie silence feels, well, off. The Media/Elwyn Line is a SEPTA Regional Rail line that runs from Center City Philadelphia west to Elwyn in Delaware County.. ", Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.inquirer.com. Greater Dayton RTA CEO Mark Donaghy to retire after 45 years of public transit service. Paper tickets will continue to be accepted through the valid date stamped on the back and valid for 180 days from the purchase date. Nine SEPTA workers have died of COVID-19. Nov. 17—It's a strange sight, an empty SEPTA bus. TYGER WILLIAMS / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER A man died after being struck by a train Saturday morning at a SEPTA station in Jenkintown, authorities said. The new schedules are designed to improve service reliability & on-time performance. Fagliano wore a mask, and social distancing was fairly easy, considering SEPTA's depressed ridership. PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Changes impacting several SEPTA Regional Rail lines are now in effect. Regional Rail ridership was down 16 percent Friday, compared to weekday averages through last week. The misperception of mass transit being a hotbed for COVID-19 transmission could contribute to a push for private cars, creating further funding woes, and deteriorating service for riders who depend on transit. CTDOT releases updated five-year capital plan. The acquisition will expand Bolt’s market to 48 new areas throughout the United States. Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), USDOT personnel named; Lana Hurdle to serve as acting secretary. ... ON YOUR PHONE: Users of the official SEPTA App for iPhone and Android devices should download the new schedules the day of the schedule change (Sunday, March 8, 2020). New details revealed after family found dead in Chester Co. Fire erupts at Victory Brewing Company in Kennett Square, Nashville Market? Tampa Bay’s bus agencies, struggling with decreased ridership and financial challenges linked to the coronavirus pandemic, are set to receive $30.8 million in federal relief money. "They're willing to go to a bar and drink, but they're afraid to get on a bus. FL: Feds to give $30.8 million to local transit agencies for coronavirus relief. About 960 SEPTA employees have contracted COVID-19, according to self-reported figures from SEPTA, and about 560 have since returned to work. Fast food chain enters 'chicken wars,' changes name, Target giving $500 bonuses to all hourly team members, Black-owned boutique in West Philly receives grant from Beyonce, COVID call center opens in Delaware County, Families worry about school closures in Camden, New Jersey. He commuted on the Chestnut Hill East Line one or two days a week. SEPTA operates 13 rail lines that travel to destinations across the region. Mask enforcement was listed as the top concern. SEPTA said that they are currently offering about 57 percent of pre-pandemic regional rail service, but ridership is only about 15 percent of what it was in early March 2020. "It really was not a difficult decision for me to make at the time," Fagliano said. All rights reserved. The authority will support Georgia’s small business mentoring program. As of January 24, 2021, SEPTA will be operating 463 weekday trains and 218 weekend trains, which is approximately 57 percent of pre-pandemic Regional Rail service levels. "As far as mass transit being a substantial source of spread, compared to some of the settings that we do know are high risk, like bars," Fagliano said, "there's pretty good confidence that mass transit is not going to be a major source of spread when people take the proper precautions.". ", In an unrelated news conference this past fall, Mike Carroll, the city's deputy managing director for the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability, said: "There's no outbreaks that we can trace to the use of mass transit." All other Terminal Platforms (B, C/D, E/F) will remain open. King County executive and Seattle mayor announce voter-funded transit service contract. Timetables are available in two formats - PDF and text HTML. ", In a reply outlining that evidence of a definite link between contracting COVID-19 and public transportation would aid in helping to slow COVID-19′s spread, the department said: "We do know that traveling does increase a person's risk of exposure to the virus. SEPTA is warning that over the next decade, it will be forced to slash Regional Rail lines, eliminate dozens of stations, pull back subway service, and convert trolley routes into bus routes unless Pennsylvania officials find a way to resolve its budget crisis. While some health experts found the information encouraging, Mike Levy, associate professor of epidemiology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, had reservations. The appointment follows MassDOT Secretary Stephanie Pollack's appointment to the Federal Highway Administration. The agency plans to continue pursuing an expansion of its rail and bus network while overhauling its approach to public safety. If the contract is approved, riders will see service maintained and new benefits in September. "The public health agencies should say something to dispel some of this negative stigma that attaches to transit," Fried said. New Regional Rail Schedules in Effect Sunday, March 8, 2020. "The whole problem with all this is everybody's afraid of stuff they shouldn't be afraid of and not afraid of things they should be afraid of," he said. Although mask compliance and crowd sizes are legitimate concerns to consider, a generalized fear is not, said Goren, of Nazareth Hospital. The list includes familiar names; many with USDOT experience in previous administrations. he said. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties The Terminal A closure will be in … Public input is being sought regarding the Amarillo Area Regional Multimodal Transportation Plan, which officials said is a strategic mobility plan seeking to integrate and modernize the region’s mobility network into one comprehensive document. COVID-19 is most commonly spread through close contact with others, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and good ventilation is a helpful risk-mitigation measure. Cuomo is the king of transit deficit financing. "It's a frustrating struggle for us in the industry," Fox said, "... a lot of the public is either still on their old beliefs or really not taking advantage of updated research, information that's out there to support the position of how transit is not this super spreader that everyone believes it to be.". Starting Monday, service will return to Churchman's Crossing and Newark stations. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Since that's how he had gotten to work before the COVID-19 pandemic, he continued using SEPTA during the pandemic. If an individual reveals to public health professionals that they used public transportation while infectious, the information is used to identify and inform all close contacts.". Gov. A new BRT corridor along Lakeshore Road and major bus rehabs are among the projects the funding will support. CA: Fletcher: San Diego MTS stable despite pandemic, looking to expand transit service. More recently, a SEPTA COVID-19 Travel Survey released in September showed riders felt safer going to a grocery store or visiting family than riding SEPTA. Maintained and new benefits in September designed to improve service reliability & on-time.... 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