Boy oh boy oh boy, did SEPTA botch this one up. They waited until two days before these changes are scheduled to occur to put the update on the website, and there are a ton of missing links and false information and typos and oh geez, we have a lot to get through. These come into effect today, June 9th and tomorrow, June 10th, so yes, I am a bit late, but they were the ones that posted these two days before! Then again, I just got home from Scotland, so I couldn’t even start working on this until yesterday.
First of all, here’s the list of the updated schedules, which only links from the website’s banner, which doesn’t appear for people who have adblockers enabled, for some reason. I don’t know why this wouldn’t go into the “News and Events” tab, especially since that’s what they do for every other schedule change, but sure. So, let’s get into it. SEPTA said almost nothing about what’s changing, so I’m just cycling back and forth between the old and new schedules to see what’s different. Also, as a bonus round, I’ll add in whenever I find errors in the schedules, because there are more than there should be. The routes with actual changes will be bolded, while anything that’s just an error won’t be. Also, I won’t mention any instances where variants specifically meant to service schools are dropped, because that’s obvious. Alright, let’s get into this. This was your job, SEPTA!
2: Midday service will go from every 18 minutes to every 20 minutes, which is honestly fine with me – it’s easier to remember. However, given previous years, I believe most of the frequency reductions are only temporary for the summer since ridership is lower. We’ll see…this is one I actually like.
3: Some departure times at rush hour are shifting. Also, our first error: the 3 is supposed to be a 15-15-5 route, but its schedule card didn’t get the fancy cover that the other ones did.
6: Yes, this is super pedantic, but the times on the headway matrix are written like “7AM” with no 0s instead of “7:00AM” like all the other ones. This also isn’t the last time this will happen.
8: This route loses a ton of service because it tends to get swamped with kids going to school. No school, less service: it’ll be every half hour for most of the day, with 20-minute service at rush hour.
11: Rush hour service drops from every 6-7 minutes to every 8.
13: Service in the morning rush will be every 5 minutes, down from every 4. Also, why doesn’t the route map distinguish the fact that the section to Darby runs far less frequently than the rest of the line?
14: Lots of departure time shifts throughout the schedule on all seven days, but nothing groundbreaking. The route is still as complicated as ever, of course.
17: Right, first of all, the route apparently runs every 8 minutes or less between 7:00 AM and…”3:000 AM.” It’s funny enough that they wrote “AM” accidentally, but the extra 0 is like a cherry on top of the cake. The schedule also weirdly says that “Route 17 service between 20th-Johnson and Penn’s Landing operates every 20 minutes or less,” but it’s really every 10 minutes or less.
18: Running time changes and some reductions in frequency during school peak times, because, you know, no school.
20: Er…the morning rush loses service, but the evening rush gains service. Doesn’t seem to make a ton of sense, but I’ve never ridden the route, so maybe it was a good change.
21: Trip time changes throughout the day, but the frequencies are the same. Also, I’m aware that they accidentally published a version of the timetable with the destinations of the 20 on the cover. They’ve since removed it, but I’m sure as heck going to mention it, because it’s hilarious.
23: I was freaking out because I thought Saturday service was dropping to every 20 minutes, but no…they just put the Sunday timetable before the Saturday one in the schedule PDF. Good job.
25: Just a few departure time changes throughout the week.
26: Less service at rush hour and school peak times.
28: Less service during the school peaks.
29: Service reductions across the board, most notably midday service dropping to every 20 minutes from every 16-17. Don’t worry, though, it becomes every 12 minutes at 1 PM, down from every 10, but still…why doesn’t it stay every 20 then? It’s not like there’s school to require extra service.
30: Did they make the 30 less awful? Oh no, they just changed some departure times. Darn.
32: Less service at rush hour and school peak times.
34: Less service at rush hour.
36: There look to be some trip time adjustments during rush hour, but frequency remains about the same. Also, a rogue bracket apparently got into the “Shuttle Bus will serve Woodland Ave approximately every 20 minutes during peak] travel periods.” And we’ve still yet to get a schedule for that service…
42: Lots of trip time changes on the weekdays, but no decreases in frequency. Weekends fare worse: it goes from every 10 to every 12 minutes on Saturdays, and from every 14 to every 16 on Sundays. Not only is the service worse, but it also kills the coordination with the 21 along Walnut and Chestnut. Sure, it more often than not bunches anyway, but it was still fantastic in concept. Also, there are so many weird typos and capitalization errors in the text about “riding around” in Society Hill that listing them here would take forever. Take my word for it. Finally, this route totally qualifies as a 15-15-5 route, but SEPTA just doesn’t want to accept it.
43: Oof, rush hour loses some service, but midday really takes the hit: every half hour instead of every 20 minutes. Is summer ridership really so low that this important crosstown needs to be that infrequent?
45: This one should be a 15-15-5 route, but nope, guess SEPTA doesn’t think so. Ugh.
46: Ah, we’re doing the “7AM” thing again.
47: And again! Rush hour loses some service, too, but nothing too substantial.
52: Rush hour service decreases from every 4 minutes to every 5. They also did an interesting thing where they separated the limited, much longer Gladwyne trips from the main schedule and gave them their own timetable. I was skeptical, but it actually works pretty well. I just wish the Gladwyne routing hadn’t been taken off the map above.
54: Less service during school peak periods.
56: Rush hour service is every 10 minutes, down from every 8, and there are trip time changes throughout the day.
57: The morning rush is mostly the same, but the evening rush is slightly less frequent.
58: There are some service reductions during the rushes. Also, the route to the Neshaminy Mall is shown as being half-hourly, but it’s almost never that frequent!
59: Service throughout the weekday is less frequent, including middays: every 16 minutes instead of 15 (blech).
60: Midday service will be every 15 minutes instead of every 12, while evening rush service will run every 11 minutes rather than every 10.
64: Very slightly less frequent service at rush hour.
66: Less service at rush hour, but also midday, alas, when service will be every 10 minutes instead of every 8.
67: The classic story: rush hour loses service, and there are trip time changes throughout the day.
68: Some trip time changes, but also, the hourly service from midnight to 2 AM to UPS appears to have been eliminated! I don’t know if those trips got people or not, but this seems like something more permanent (not summer-specific).
70: Less rush hour and school peak service. Also, this should be a 15-15-5 route, but it doesn’t get that branding.
77: Trip time changes throughout the week.
79: The schedule looks like it’s mostly the same, but service from 5 AM to 6 AM is much less frequent than it used to be.
80: Some trip time changes.
88: Yes, believe it or not, it’s less rush hour and school peak service! And trip time changes!
89: Trip time changes.
G: Yet another obvious 15-15-5 route that doesn’t get that billing. Also…less service throughout the day (every 15 instead of every 12 middays).
H/XH: Less service at rush hour and school peak times.
K: Trip time changes and less rush hour service.
L: We’re doing the “7AM” thing once again. Just be consistent!
R: Less service at rush hour and school peak times. Also, yes, it’s the “7AM” thing again.
91: The Saturday-only prison route’s outbound trips will all depart five minutes earlier from Norristown.
93: Trip time changes.
94: Trip time changes.
96: Some really minor time changes on a few trips.
97: One trip, the 6:10 PM out of Norristown, will now leave at 6:15.
98: Lots of trip time changes. Also, the first three trips to Norristown will now begin at Plymouth Meeting Mall rather than Blue Bell.
99: The 6:10 PM out of Norristown will now leave at 6:15.
101/102: The suburban trolleys will run every half hour instead of every 20 minutes on weekdays and lose a bit of rush hour service, both temporary changes for the summer.
104/112: Some trip time changes, some lost rush hour express trips. Also, in perhaps the biggest change on this whole stinking list (which has been so boring to compile), the 112 loses Sunday service, replaced by extra trips on the 104. The two routes are almost identical up until the 112’s terminus, so it’s not a huge deal, it’s just…a thing that happened. I guess.
106: The first westbound trip of the day will be a minute faster.
113: Some trip time changes.
115: Some trip time changes.
119: Some trip time changes.
120: The 120 loses a ton of service because its primary purpose is serving Cheyney University. It’ll only run eight times a day throughout the summer.
123: A dropped trip weekday mornings, but an extra trip Saturday evenings.
124: Some trip time changes on weekends.
125: Some service is lost in the morning rush, as well as on weekends. There are trip time changes, too.
126: Some trip time changes.
127: Trip time changes, and a dropped eastbound trip on weekdays.
And now it’s Sunday and the schedules have come into effect. With no way to compare the old and new schedules anymore, I’m forced to use the Wayback Machine to see the old timetables. This is what happens when you announce the service change two days before it comes into effect and don’t tell your riders any of the changes that are actually occurring! Anyway…let’s soldier on.
128: The 8:05 trip from Neshaminy Mall will now be an 8:00.
131: A few trip time changes and a new 6:11 PM trip from Audubon to Norristown.
132: Uh-oh…the 5:33 AM trip from Montgomery Mall will now leave at 5:34!!!!!
150: The 1:45 PM trip from Parx Casino will now be a 2:00.
201: The most recent Wayback Machine PDF for this route is from August 2018, but the only difference between those two schedules is that the 6:40 AM trip from Fort Washington is now leaving at 6:35.
MFL: Er…the new schedule for the MFL doesn’t seem to be up anywhere. Which is a little strange, since they are making a major change to it: all-stop service will begin at 5 PM instead of 5:30 PM, continuing the slow whittling away of rush hour skip-stop service (good). I’m also aware that the schedule card for this thing has a ton of errors on it, but they haven’t put it online, so I guess I can’t point them out here.
And that’s the long, comprehensive list of changes. Man, this was a pain to put together, especially since the vast majority of these are temporary changes for the summer or just plain insignificant. I just didn’t have a lot to say for most of these, which is why it ended up being a bit of a boring list. Still…hopefully someone out there finds it useful so the four hours it took to put this together wasn’t in vain!
Terrific job, thank you !