PHILADELPHIA - SEPTA lifted all capacity limits on trains, trolleys, buses and subways Tuesday as COVID cases fall and more people become vaccinated.
Near City Hall, many SEPTA busses had passengers on board, but no longer had the "standing-room-only" crowd of pre-pandemic days.
"It’s beautiful weather, lots of history to be seen, a lot of nature to be enjoyed. Please take SEPTA, come out and enjoy it,", SEPTA general manager Leslie Richards said.
It was a day of positive news for the transportation authority. The pandemic has taken away most of SEPTA’s riders and has caused an ongoing loss of a million dollars per day.
On Tuesday, SEPTA cut the ribbon on a $20 million renovation of its 5th Street Station in the heart of the city’s historic district.
"We know people are coming back to work in office buildings. We need them back because we need people to eat lunch and shop and do the things they used to do when back in offices," said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
SEPTA says ridership on its buses, trolleys, and subways is at 40%, while only 20% of its regional rail riders are back. It will lean heavily on hundreds of millions of dollars in federal aid to cover costs through 2024.
"The bus is a lot fuller than it was a month ago," said Glenisha Shillingford of Germantown. "People are still not sitting next to each other, but I had to stand as opposed to last month when I didn’t.
With crowd capacity limits lifted for Wednesday’s Sixers-Wizards playoff game, SEPTA will add trips to the Broad Street Line to accommodate additional fans headed to the Wells Fargo Center. Three Sports Express trains will operate, running every 10 minutes starting at 6:08 p.m. for the 7 p.m. tip-off. These trips supplement regularly scheduled service
Customers are still required to wear a mask while riding SEPTA.
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