With all-night weekend service set to start at 12:01 a.m. June 15 on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines, SEPTA officials on Tuesday outlined details of the restored operations.
The 24-hour service will operate after midnight on Saturday and Sunday mornings, at least until Labor Day.
Since 1991, subway service has been halted between midnight and 5 a.m., with Nite Owl buses substituted on those routes. Increasing nightlife, residential activity in Center City, and requests from business executives prompted SEPTA officials to bring back the subway service.
The service will be an experiment until Labor Day, and if ridership, safety, and costs are acceptable, SEPTA says it will continue the service permanently. A total of about 10,000 riders use the late-night buses on the two weekend mornings.
The biggest concern is safety, general manager Joseph Casey said.
"We'll have an extensive police presence out there," he said.
When SEPTA ended all-night subway service 23 years ago, Philadelphia was a different place, with much less nighttime activity, Casey said.
"Philadelphia has changed since that time," he said. "Now with all of the restaurants, increased late-night activity, and people moving back into the city, we're excited to be able to provide this service that city, business leaders, and customers have been asking us for."
Trains will run every 20 minutes. Bus schedules have been adjusted to coordinate with train arrivals at the subway terminals, said Ron Hopkins, assistant general manager of operations.
Open All Night
Cashiers will be on duty at these stations, though locations may change, based on ridership during the summer, SEPTA officials said.
Frankford Trans. Center
Broad Street Line
Fern Rock Trans. Center
Olney Trans. Center
Cecil B. Moore