SEPTA Regional Rail riders who were affected by delays caused by a significant number of the rail fleet being taken out of service may be eligible for refunds or credits, according to SEPTA officials.
On July 3, SEPTA reported that 120 of the trains used for Regional Rail transportation were to be taken out of service due to a structural defect. An inspection identified that there was a “a problem with cracking in the main suspension systems” of the Silverliner V rail cars, which comprise about one-third of the Regional Rail fleet. All of the Silverliner V rail cars had been taken out of service.
The lack of functional trains caused SEPTA to implement a schedule that was developed for weather emergencies, with added rush hour trips. The reduced schedule led to delays for riders and packed parking lots at Regional Rail stations, which caused frustration for passengers throughout the Philadelphia region, per several reports.
SEPTA responded by offering refunds for customers who purchased weekly Regional Rail Trailpasses for the week starting Monday, July 4, and those who bought monthly Trailpasses for July. To receive refunds, customers had to mail their passes to SEPTA, postmarked no later than July 7.
However, there is still time to receive credit for customers who continued to use their TrailPasses through those dates. Credit can be redeemed on any pass purchases made before the October 10 deadline.
SEPTA will offer credits to customers who present their passes at SEPTA sales offices starting on July 11.
Customers with Zone 1, 2 and Cross-County Weekly TrailPasses will receive a $5 credit. Those Zone 3 and Anywhere Weekly TrailPasses will receive a $10 credit. For those with monthly TrailPasses for July, SEPTA is offering: $20 credits for Zone 1; $25 credits for Zone 2; $30 credits for Zone 3; and $35 credits for Anywhere passes. For a full list of SEPTA sales offices in Bucks County, visit www.septa.org/sales/locations/bucks.html.
SEPTA officials also announced that, until further notice, the Trenton, Lansdale/Doylestown and West Trenton lines will operate on modified Saturday schedules in place of weekday service. Each line will also have an additional train that will run earlier than the normal Saturday schedule to help with the train deficiencies.
These trains are still expected to be crowded and may not be able to stop at some stations due to reaching rider capacity. SEPTA officials suggest seeking alternate transit options that have expanded rush-hour services, like the Market-Frankford Line. A list of those options is available at www.septa.org/service/contingency.html.
The Regional Rail schedules are expected to evolve through the summer as SEPTA officials look into equipment leases and service arrangements with NJ Transit and Amtrak. SEPTA is also expected to explore bus options to help with some routes.
All updates will be shared by SEPTA on www.septa.org.