Amid record numbers in ridership, SEPTA has chosen to extend their 24/7 weekend subway service schedule indefinitely. A press release notes that "riders prefer rails over roads for weekend late night travel," pointing out that they have seen 15,000 riders per weekend since the trial period began in June. That's a 6,000 ridership bump from the Nite Owl street-level bus service. It seems like a no-brainer to keep the weekend service up and running — especially since nearly 25,000 riders took advantage of the extended hours over the Fourth of July weekend. The question remains: Is this the second step in SEPTA making the subway a 24-hour transportation option 7-days a week?
While readers clearly love the 24/7 option, our poll from August shows that result were split between keeping it strictly on weekends and opening it up to the rest of the week. "We use those overnight hours to do track repairs, station cleaning and other kinds of maintenance," Manuel Smith, a spokesman for SEPTA told Next City in August. "That would be tough to reschedule around operating trains." It's clear that this has been important to the late-night scene in Center City. SEPTA says it's most popular spots are 15th Street Street Station near City Hall and the 2nd Street Station in Old City.
SEPTA's General Manager Joseph M. Casey said in the release:
"Late night customers have proven, by riding in record numbers each weekend that this is service they want. SEPTA is proud to be part of Philadelphia's late night renaissance. That's why even with the increased costs we have decided to continue overnight service." You can take solace in the fact that your SEPTA curfew officially won't be midnight on the weekends for an indefinite period of time. Now if they could only figure out what do to with the service to Wilmington, Delaware...
· SEPTA to Extend Weekend Overnight Subway Service [SEPTA Release]