PHILADELPHIA (WTXF/AP) - The Philadelphia area's transit agency has announced its reworked train schedules. SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch says the big change from last week is that trains leased from Amtrak and transit services in New Jersey and Maryland will add 1,700 seats and be used in high ridership areas.
SEPTA posted the new Regional Rail interim schedules on its website, Sunday night. They're now in effect.
Click here for the schedule, information by station, and a list of changes. There is also alternate travel information and details on new parking options.
Click here for SEPTA's up-to-date system status.
July 1, SEPTA sidelined 120 Silverliner V cars, a third of the coaches in its Regional Rail system, after defects were found in the suspension systems.
The rail system linking Philadelphia and its suburbs typically transports about 65,000 commuters each way per day, but fewer seats have significantly reduced ridership to about 35,000 to 40,000 people per day.
The shortfall had caused in many delays, standing-room-only cars and morning trains having to skip stops nearest to Center City after reaching maximum capacity.
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Weekend and holiday schedules will not change, because there are enough Regional Rail cars to service them.
Still, officials do not expect the problems to have a major impact on the Democratic National Convention which starts in two weeks.
Knueppel said the transit service should be able to handle the extra traffic during the July 25-28 convention because riders are expected to largely use the rail system during off-peak hours.
To get back and forth between downtown Philadelphia and the convention site, the Wells Fargo Center, delegates and others will be able to use the city's subway system, rather than Regional Rail.
Convention committee spokesman Lee Whack said the committee has worked closely with SEPTA to secure additional travel opportunities along the Broad Street line, which runs from downtown Philadelphia to the Wells Fargo Center.
Busch says the leased trains will be used through July, into August "and possibly beyond."