Despite the high vaccination rate and relaxation of restrictions, the number of passengers in SEPTA is still very low
Although Philadelphia lifted the pandemic restrictions and vaccinated more than 70% of adults, the number of passengers in SEPTA is still significantly lower than the traffic volume before the pandemic.
Officials said that after the city and SEPTA’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted last month, the number of passengers has increased by 10%, but it is still lower than the traffic volume before the pandemic. At present, the passenger volume accounts for about 40% of its normal traffic.
Transportation authority Increase cleaning operations and expand police force And created a Seat availability dashboard During the pandemic, in order to make the rider feel safe, the rider’s speed was less than half of the normal speed.
SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch told PhillyVoice: “We are starting to see things move in a somewhat positive direction, but we are still limited by continued remote work.” “We expect more people to return to work, so we are responding to This will be monitored.”
Officials said that lack of trust in public transportation and concerns about COVID-19 are also reasons for the low passenger flow.
Busch said that in addition to COVID sanitation, SEPTA has also increased cleaning work, including electrical cleaning and garbage collection at the station. It plans to hire 200 employees to help keep stations and trains clean.
“In general, we tried to emphasize the benefits of the rider in the system,” Busch said. “We really want to emphasize clean, safety and security information to our customers, as well as the convenience of SEPTA.”
SEPTA cooperates with the city to carry out marketing activities, Get ready, set, Philadelphia! Designed to encourage travel to cities and public transportation.
Busch said: “We know that it will take some time for our passenger traffic to return to pre-pandemic levels.” “We may be talking about a year or two to reach these levels.”
The worst days of SEPTA are in the early stages of the pandemic. Officials said its traffic dropped by 90% between February and April last year.
Last fall, the number of passengers was only 30% of the pre-pandemic, and transportation services were reduced to save money. Philadelphia Business Journal Report.
Nevertheless, SEPTA reports that since November, it is losing $1 million in income per day Due to the decrease in fare revenue. Bush confirmed that this figure still applies today.
Busch said federal funds are critical to maintaining SEPTA’s operations. The transportation authority received $1.5 billion in federal funding from three different programs.
“This is absolutely essential to help pay for the daily operating expenses within the SEPTA system,” he said.
SEPTA general manager Leslie Richards said in the latest news last week that the service of the bus system has basically resumed. Approximately 85% of the routes operate according to the normal schedule.
However, Broad Street and Market-Frankford services are still suspended late at night.On the contrary, SEPTA means that the driver can take “Night Owl” Bus Run every 15 minutes.
The transportation services department said it plans to restore most of the remaining outage routes in the next few weeks. SEPTA approved its $1.5 billion operating budget for fiscal year 2022, which will enable it to operate at 96% of its transit services before the pandemic, Reported by Philadelphia Magazine.
Busch stated that they will announce the expansion of their services later this year in September.