WIN: SEPTA Extends Late Night Weekend Subway Service Indefinitely Thanks To Citizen Advocacy
Yesterday SEPTA announced that they would continue 24-hour weekend train service for the Broad Street Line Subway and Market-Frankford El indefinitely. This comes after months of testing initiated, in part, by a petition I started in February asking SEPTA to reinstate 24/7 train service for the city’s two biggest transit arteries. The petition received thousands of signatures in just a few weeks time. SEPTA answered by testing the service on Friday and Saturday nights. And riders showed up in droves. The summertime trial period SEPTA originally promised was extended through November. In a post here at This Old City I asked why not just extend the trial indefinitely? That's exactly what was announced yesterday.
As SEPTA’s General Manager Joseph M. Casey cheered on their website, "Late night customers have proven, by riding in record numbers each weekend that this is service they want.”
This is a huge, huge win for SEPTA (for SEPTA’s future), for the city’s business community, and most importantly for the people. And it shows us that in a city that’s rapidly changing, our civic duty has never been more important. So what does this mean? A commenter to my Instagram post last night celebrating SEPTA’s announcement helped put it all in perspective for me: "As a public sector employee, with some time in transit, I encourage you not to underestimate what a big deal this is. You in many ways turned the proverbial ocean liner. Kudos.” - @szaaron
Now What’s Next?
SEPTA is listening. The organization which has seen its fair share of criticisms over the years seems to be more open than ever to listening to commuters. And social media has made is easier than ever for commuters to tell SEPTA exactly what they want. In the wake of my petition and the attention it received from both Philly media and SEPTA alike, others started to call for extended late-night services across SEPTA’s network, and for more frequent Regional Rail services.
Taking advantage of online petitions like these, and championing them through social media, can help citizens leverage our collective voices and play a big role in enacting positive change in a city that’s changing by the day. I encourage more people to stand up and put out their ideas for how to make Philadelphia an even better place to live.
Philadelphia, like all cities, is going to change no matter what. Help make it change into a better place for you.