SEPTA moving to 'lifeline' service Thursday due to COVID-19 pandemic

SEPTA will move to a “lifeline” service Thursday with even more limited services across all modes, including some transit stations closing, some rail lines suspending and bus lines limited to core routes.

The announcement comes after three maintenance workers died from the coronavirus. Forty-eight SEPTA employees have tested positive for the virus.

SEPTA said it is focused on providing access for essential workers traveling to hospitals, grocery stores and other life-sustaining services.


All riders should wear masks or other facial coverings, consistent with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, to protect both riders and operators, SEPTA said in a statement.

The transit agency has started to issue masks to all frontline employees.

“Our SEPTA employees have been incredible in ensuring we maintain essential service to provide access to hospitals, grocery stores and other life-sustaining services,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards. “As this crisis continues, we are now experiencing what other transit agencies across the country already have – workforce shortages due to COVID-19-related absences.”


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A list of SEPTA's expected changes can be found below:

MARKET-FRANKFORD LINE: Select stations will be closed (Church, Tioga, Somerset, York-Dauphin, 2nd Street, 5th Street, 13th Street, 56th Street, 63rd Street and Millbourne). Service will operate on a Saturday schedule 7 days a week, except between 1:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. when service is suspended.

BROAD STREET LINE/BROAD-RIDGE SPUR: Select stations will be closed (Tasker-Morris, Lombard-South, Spring Garden, Fairmount, Susquehanna-Dauphin, Wyoming, Logan and Chinatown). Service will operate on a Saturday schedule 7 days a week, except between 1:00 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. when service is suspended.

BUSES: Service will be limited to approximately 60 core routes. SEPTA prioritized routes that provide access to essential services, as well as those with connections to the Broad Street, Market-Frankford Lines and Regional Rail.

Rear door boarding remains in effect with vehicle capacity limits to encourage social distancing.

REGIONAL RAIL: Service on six lines will be suspended and two others shortened. There will be no service on the Chestnut Hill East, Chestnut Hill West, Cynwyd, Manayunk/Norristown, West Trenton and Wilmington Newark Lines.

– Paoli/Thorndale: Service will only operate between Center City and Malvern

– Lansdale/Doylestown: Service only operate between Center City and Lansdale

– Airport Line service will be reduced from hourly trips to every two hours.


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The Associated Press contributed to this report.