SEPTA Is The Way To Go FAQ
SEPTA’s Chief Operating Officer, Scott Sauer, spoke to University of Pennsylvania faculty and staff on August 3, 2022, during a virtual webinar. SEPTA is doing more than ever before to make the transit system safe, secure and accessible, and to keep service reliable, affordable and convenient. We appreciate your thoughtful questions and feedback and look forward to welcoming more of you back to SEPTA this fall.
This FAQ was informed by questions received during the webinar.
Safety, Security and Cleaning
Q. What is SEPTA doing to keep riders safe?
SEPTA’s top priority is the safety of our customers and As Scott mentioned during his presentation, SEPTA’s crime prevention strategy and safety initiatives include:
- Re-assigning 25 uniformed Transit Police officers to add additional patrols to platforms and vehicles
- Hiring more police officers – SEPTA just launched a new recruiting campaign and increased pay for Transit Police officers
- Anyone interested in joining the SEPTA Transit Police Department is encouraged to apply online.
- Staffing a Virtual Patrol Center to monitor live-feed station cameras – SEPTA has over 28,000 cameras in stations and vehicles system-wide
- Asking all customers and employees to use the SEPTA Transit Watch App – your feedback enables SEPTA personnel to respond more quickly and helps to determine future police deployment
- Posted video demonstrations of emergency call boxes on SEPTA vehicles
- Increasing the number of Transit Police SAVE Unit teams of Police Officer-Social Worker teams patrolling the SEPTA system to connect those in need to substance use treatment and behavioral health services
SEPTA’s award-winning SCOPE Program – SCOPE stands for Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnership and Engagement – coordinates efforts to address issues of the vulnerable population in and around SEPTA locations. SEPTA is proud of this comprehensive, holistic approach we have taken to these broader societal issues, and we are committed to going beyond our role as a transit service provider to become a community resource for positive change. Successful SCOPE Initiatives include:
- Adding 50 additional social workers to help with the vulnerable population who seek shelter on the system as part of the SCOPE Program
- Adding 88 outreach specialists as a force multiplier to alert Transit Police and engage people on the rules for riding SEPTA
- Equipped 377 additional personnel – including social workers, outreach specialists and custodians – with police radios and SEPTA cellphones to communicate with SEPTA Transit Police
Q. Can you detail what SEPTA is doing to keep stations and vehicles clean?
- SEPTA understands how important cleaning protocols are to enhance the rider experience and to create and foster an environment of safety and cleanliness.
- More than 700 cleaners, maintenance custodians and supervisors are deployed to SEPTA stations, platforms, loops and vehicles, and all vehicles are cleaned and disinfected every Full-time maintenance custodians are deployed at key stations throughout the system, including at 34th Street Station.
- We use – and have always used – EPA-approved disinfecting products specifically designated for COVID-19. More information on these products can be found in our Ride Safe Guide.
- In addition to our enhanced cleaning protocols, the air on SEPTA vehicles exchanges every 2 to 3 minutes due to well-ventilated HVAC systems and new MERV-13 filters that remove small particles. This rate of air exchange on SEPTA far exceeds CDC recommendations, and is better than a grocery store or restaurant.
- SEPTA continues with our subway station cleaning and maintenance blitzes. Efforts focus on maintenance, including work on elevators, as well as painting, power washing, and installing enhanced lighting and new signage.
- SEPTA also has a cleaning task Customers can report cleanliness issues through the Transit Watch App, through SEPTA Customer Service, and through the QR code posted at stations. After issuing a report, cleaning staff can be deployed.
- SEPTA initiated a new campaign “Respect the Ride” to discourage smoking on the system and promote good behavior.
Q. What is SEPTA doing to improve Regional Rail frequency and timeliness?
- Regional Rail service is currently operating at 75% of pre-pandemic service levels while ridership is presently at about 50% of pre-pandemic levels.
- New Regional Rail schedules will go into effect on August The new schedules can be found HERE.
- SEPTA is constantly monitoring and adjusting service to fit the needs of the region and our customers. We will reevaluate our service based on fall ridership and would look to add even more service with our next schedule change (in November/early December) as ridership demands.
- Most lines have 30-minute frequencies or better during AM and PM peak Select Express trips have also been added.
- Regional Rail trains are currently running at over 90% on-
- SEPTA’s current Reimagining Regional Rail initiative is also looking longer-term at how to build a Regional Rail network that is more useful for more people and more integrated with our other services. To learn more about Reimagining Regional Rail and to get involved, please visit https://planning.septa.org/projects/regional-rail-master-plan/.
- We encourage customers to share their feedback with SEPTA Customer When doing so, please provide as much information as possible.
Q. What is the frequency of SEPTA Transit service?
- SEPTA Transit service is currently operating at 89% of pre-pandemic service Ridership is presently at about 56% of pre-pandemic levels.
- BSL – every 7 – 10 minutes
- MFL – every 6 – 10 minutes
- NHSL – every 30 minutes or less
- Most trolleys – 15 minutes or less (15-15-5 routes)
- Just as we do for Regional Rail, SEPTA is constantly monitoring transit service and making adjustments as needed to make service more convenient and Current schedules can be found HERE. New schedules will go into effect on Sunday and Monday, August 28 & 29 and will be available on SEPTA.org and on the official SEPTA App.
- As SEPTA continues to move forward on creating a vision for a stronger future, we have a number of exciting projects underway that will revolutionize our bus network and make our rail transit network more interconnected and intuitive. Please visit the Bus Revolution and Wayfinding pages on org to learn more and add your voice to the future pf SEPTA.
Q. When will service start at the new Wawa Station?
- SEPTA’s new service to Wawa Station on the Media/Wawa Line (formerly known as Media/Elwyn) officially begins running on Sunday, August Service to Wawa Station will be Zone 3, and there will be nearly 600 parking spaces. Connections to Bus Routes 111 and 114 will also be available, and there will be trains that directly serve Penn Medicine Station.
- Don’t forget – parking at SEPTA-owned lots is FREE through December 31, 2022!
SEPTA Fares and SEPTA Key
Q. How has SEPTA adapted its fare structure and pass programs to accommodate new hybrid remote work schedules? Can you please share more information about the three-day pass options?
- SEPTA has deferred fare increases over the past three years, and at the same time, has introduced new fare options to make travel more affordable and convenient. For example, customers get one free transfer and kids under 12 ride free.
- In June, SEPTA’s Board authorized a fare restructuring plan that includes new discounts and fare products:
- The 3-Day Independence Pass Bundle gives you three (3) One Day Independence Passes on your Key Card. Each pass is activated by the first tap and is eligible for up to 10 trips. Passes can be used on consecutive and non-consecutive days.
- The Three-Day Convenience Pass can be added to a SEPTA Key card and is good for up to 24 trips taken over 72 hours by one person. This pass is valid only on Transit, not Regional Rail, and is activated for use upon the first tap.
- Another good option for customers working a hybrid remote work schedule is Travel Wallet. Customers load money onto their Key Card, and pay for individual rides on buses, trolleys, subway/elevated and Regional Rail. Rides will be charged at the lowest discount price.
- SEPTA will also introduce a new Neighborhood FleX Pass in the fall, which will provide City of Philadelphia residents with enhanced Zone 2 travel on Regional Rail.
- Customers from New Jersey might also be interested to know that PATCO Freedom Share Cards can be used on any SEPTA bus route or at any subway/elevated A PATCO Freedom Share Card is not valid for travel on Regional Rail.
- Credit card purchases are now accepted on Regional Rail, and Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are accepted at kiosks.
- University of Pennsylvania Key cardholders can purchase new fare products with their Key card online, at kiosks, and at SEPTA sales offices.
- Please visit www.iseptaphilly.com/key or www.septakey.org for additional information.
Q. Will you be making any improvements to SEPTA Key?
- SEPTA will introduce Mobile Bar Code ticketing for Transit travel this fall. Mobile ticketing will allow a customer to purchase and load tickets on their Pricing is based on travel wallet fares and will allow for one free transfer and the ability to pay for up to five people traveling as a group. This feature will rollout to Regional Rail following successful implementation on Transit.
- SEPTA is also planning to introduce PAYGO, which will allow a customer to pay using an approved contactless credit/debit card for travel on Transit and Regional Rail. PAYGO pricing will be based on travel wallet fares and will allow for one free transfer.
- For questions about reimbursements or problems with your Key card, please call 1-855- 567-3782, or visit septakey.org or a SEPTA Sales Office.
- All of these enhancements are leading up to the next phase of SEPTA Key – Key 0. We will soon be reaching out to customers to get input on what the next generation of Key and fare options should look like.
SEPTA Forward and Projects of Regional Significance
Q. Where can we get more information about Trolley Modernization, Bus Revolution, King of Prussia Rail, and the other projects of regional significance?
- SEPTA Forward, our strategic plan, is the framework to transform our organization and services to meet the changing needs of our It lays out a clear vision for the future with transit at the core of our region.
- SEPTA always welcomes your For more information on all of these projects and to provide feedback, please visit www.planning.septa.org.
Helpful Tools and Resources
As Scott presented, SEPTA staff was posting corresponding links in the Q+A. For your convenience, please find below links that will lead you to important information:
- SEPTA Transit Watch App – The SEPTA Transit Watch App has incident-reporting features that allow SEPTA riders to discreetly share safety & security tips with SEPTA Transit Police in less than 20 seconds. And it's FREE to A video demonstration of the app is available HERE. This is a great option for those who may not want to push the call buttons in SEPTA vehicles and stations. You can also Text-A-Tip to 215-234-1911.
- SEPTA has created a Ride Safe Guide and Employer Toolkit that consist of excellent resources for our customers.
- SEPTA encourages our customers to download the free SEPTA App – available for download in the Apple App Store or Google Play – and to monitor septa.org and www.iseptaphilly.org for service information and important updates.
- SEPTA launched an Estimated Seat Availability Dashboard where customers can use historic data to plan their Customers can also set their destination, search for the best route, and find nearby perks with our Plan Your Trip tool.
- View SEPTA’s Capital Program for information and details on planned upgrades to stations and other important projects.
SEPTA Customer Service is always available and happy to help. Call 215-580-7800 or click HERE.