SEPTA

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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SEPTA COVID FAQ's

How long will the "Lifeline schedule" be in effect?
SEPTA's limited Lifeline Service schedule was designed to provide as much service as possible for essential travel with our healthy and available employees.

Like other transit agencies across the country, SEPTA is experiencing high COVID-19 related absences of employees essential to keeping our system running- up 30% on any given day. That severely constrains the service we can deliver.

Our employees are doing a terrific job, but we will be running Lifeline Service as long as we continue to have employee shortages. Riders can do their job by staying home if travel is not essential. Please help us protect the health of our employees and other riders.

Why did SEPTA choose to discontinue bus routes in my neighborhood?
While our employees have been incredible ensuring that we can continue to provide service for essential employees traveling to hospitals, grocery stores and other life-sustaining services, we are experiencing workforce shortages due to COVID-19-related absences. Unfortunately this means some routes have been temporarily discontinued. 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.

Why are so many Market/Frankford & Broad Street Line Stations closed?
Access to stations has been limited to encourage essential travel only and enable our healthy and available workforce to clean and maintain our facilities. The open stations are priority stops that allow health care workers and others who perform life-sustaining services to continue to travel to these essential services.

Are we required to wear a mask on all modes of transportation?
While it is not a requirement, following CDC guidelines. SEPTA is strongly urging all riders to wear masks or other facial coverings to protect both Customers and Operators. On April 3, the CDC advised that everyone use simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and not know it from transmitting it to others.

  • Where can I get a mask that SEPTA is giving out?
    • SEPTA no longer has any available masks to distribute to riders.

Why are operators still allowing customers to board the bus without masks?
While Governor Wolf mandated the wearing of masks for employees and patrons at life-sustaining businesses, public transportation was exempted due to the challenges of enforcement on our system. Our frontline employees have been provided with masks, bandanas, and gaiters, and we supplied a limited quantity of masks to our customers in an effort to educate them about the importance of protecting other riders and our Operators. We are strongly encouraging riders to wear facial coverings in compliance with this mandate and we are thankful that the overwhelming majority have been doing so.

With Social Distancing, why are the Operators allowing so many people on the bus?
SEPTA has implemented rider limits on buses, trolleys, and the Norristown High Speed Line. Operators are doing their best to comply with those limits in a very challenging environment to ensure the health and safety of everyone on their vehicle.

Why are Operators passing up people when there are not many riders on the bus?
To allow for social distancing, SEPTA Operators have been instructed to limit the number of customers per bus to 20. Operators keep track of the number of people on board each vehicle. When vehicle capacity reaches the maximum, service is then limited to drop-offs until there is sufficient space to allow new riders to board. Buses should continue to stop for waiting customers when the limits are not exceeded.

Why are the operators refusing to allow elderly/disabled people to board on the front for use of the ramp?
To support social distancing to protect our Operators, rear-door boarding is now required on all SEPTA buses and trolleys. Front-door boarding is still an option reserved for riders with disabilities.

Why do we have to pay on the BSL and MFL?
Bus and Trolley on-board fare payment was only temporarily suspended because SEPTA implemented rear-door boarding to limit exposure for bus Operators from riders paying a fare at the front farebox, On the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines, Cashiers are currently not accepting cash fares. Customers are being directed to the Fare Kiosk to purchase a Quick Trip that is swiped at the turnstile. Because the same exposure issues for Operators do not exist at Broad Street and Market Frankford Stations fare payment is still required.

How do I get a refund for my TransPass/TrailPpass?
SEPTA is offering credits for unused March and April passes. Customers who purchased passes on a Key Card will need to contact the SEPTA Key Call Center at 1-855-567-3782 and request that the pass product be removed. A pro-rated refund will be placed in their Travel Wallet, calculated from the last date the pass was used. The Call Center is available Mon-Fri 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and weekends 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Customers who purchased Paper Legacy Passes will need to mail their pass to: SEPTA Refunds, 1234 Market Street, 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 to receive a prorated refund.

Since the SEPTA Key Senior Card Processing Centers are currently closed where/how do Seniors get their Key Cards?
Seniors can still use Driver's License or state ID if it has a magnetic stripe on the back, These ID's can be swiped at Station turnstiles and vehicle fareboxes to ride the system. Once we resume regular service, we will be able to again process Senior Cards. For those seniors who have newer licenses or state IDs without the mag stripe, we apologize for the inconvenience.

SEPTA Service Adjustments and Enhanced Cleaning Efforts Since March 19, 2020

Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitizing Efforts:
Initiated enhanced cleanings of stations and vehicles in early March, well before the shutdowns of businesses, schools and other non-essential services.

Stations and Facilities
  • 24-hour-a-day cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing with 182 maintenance custodians
  • Overnight power washing 61 Subway/Elevated and Trolley stations
  • Increased efforts disinfecting high-touch surfaces (doors, turnstiles, hand rails, fare gates, fare machines, etc.) at all facilities

Vehicles
  • All SEPTA vehicles are disinfected on a daily basis
  • High-touch surface sanitizing initiative on in-service vehicles

Crew Facilities
  • Distributed surgical masks,hand sanitizer wipes, bottles of sanitizer and gloves to all front-line employees
  • Increased frequency of sanitizing employee restrooms and lounges
  • Staggered employee shifts and breaks to promote social distancing and disinfecting common areas between shifts

Service Adjustments:
  • Effective Thursday, April 9, SEPTA is operating at Lifeline Service levels to get health care workers and others who perform life-sustaining services where they need to go.
  • Actively pursuing the purchase of at least 10,000 masks to be distributed to frontline employees
  • All buses in operation have operator shields and plastic seats
  • Expediting the installation of protective shields for trolleys
  • Limiting the number of passengers per bus to 20 and per trolley to 25
  • Working with the union to reassign some operators to help clean vehicles
  • Rear-door boarding on buses and trolleys, which suspends on-board fare payment. This helps support social distancing on transit

SEPTA Key - Hygiene Benefits of a Contactless Card


Status

As the health professionals predicted, the number of individuals in the US infected with the virus continues to grow. In addition to other states in the country, there are now confirmed cases in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.

For up to date status of the COVID-19 situation, continue to follow the Federal, State and Local Health Department Websites. This week we are adding additional resource links for you - the website for the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. These agencies continue to post information on COVID-19 and you may want to go there for news with a local perspective. We also recommend visiting the Centers for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov) for more nationally focused news and updates.

COVID-19 is a health situation that everyone should take seriously and we need to be prepared in the event there is an increase in confirmed reports within the SEPTA service region. Right now, most of all, we encourage everyone to remain calm and follow the good hygiene practices recommended to prevent respiratory illnesses, flu, and colds at work and at home.



SEPTA continues to coordinate with local/regional partners including the City of Philadelphia Department of Public Health, peer transit organizations along the Northeast Corridor and we are part of an information sharing group made up of Offices of Emergency Management and Public Health Officials in the five county region.

Germ control and cleaning management on our system is nothing new to SEPTA. We have always had an extensive station and vehicle cleaning program. In addition to this robust cleaning program, SEPTA has beefed up our regular Station and Vehicle cleaning efforts. We have dedicated teams to focus on sterilizing high touch areas at stations and on vehicles. The stations team will be out at least 3 to 4 times a day. This is in addition to our regular cleaning and night time station wash down operations. The Vehicle Maintenance team is accelerating the regular bus and rail car house cleaning program. As buses come back to their district they are getting interior wipe downs. Additionally, we have custodians assigned to major transportation centers to wipe down vehicles when they are on layover. As rail cars get a full cleaning they are getting a 100% quality control check by supervision.