FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 30, 2020
SEPTA has announced that beginning on Monday, March 30th, all night service on the Market-Frankford Subway-Elevated & Broad Street Subway Lines will be suspended between the hours of 1am and 4:30am to allow additional time for cleaning subway cars and stations. They’ve also stated they will not operate Nite Owl shuttle bus service for these lines, which leaves many essential service workers without transportation.
We applaud SEPTA for allowing cleaning crews extra time to clean rail stations and vehicles. We appreciate that SEPTA had contacted medical facilities beforehand to verify this service suspension wouldn’t conflict with shift changes. However this change will still affect essential personnel in the custodial, transportation, home health care, shipping, and food industries. By suspending this service SEPTA is telling essential workers “thank you for keeping our society going, but good luck getting home”.
Essential workers are 36% of total transit commuters in the US. These essential employees deserve more consideration when SEPTA suspends service on the two highest ridership lines in the SEPTA system. Along these two transit lines are more than nine facilities that are still providing emergency physical and mental health care services, along with many essential infrastructure facilities. If we value the lives of our citizens and safety of our workers, we need to run as much transit service as is safely possible, regardless of cost.
We can not ask essential workers to pay out of pocket for the state government’s failure to properly fund a transit system. We can not ask essential workers to sleep over at their jobs because our transit system claims it can’t afford to get them home.
Looking to take action? You can sign our open letter asking SEPTA to protect transit riders and workers during this crisis.