No staff at most stations for SEPTA all-night service

SEPTA's Ron Hopkins and operator John Slade demonstrate the payment process for most overnight subway riders.
SEPTA's Ron Hopkins and operator John Slade demonstrate the payment process for most overnight subway riders. (PAUL NUSSBAUM / Staff)
Posted: June 05, 2014

When SEPTA starts running all-night subway service this month, most of the stations will not be staffed.

Cashiers will be on duty at 16 heavily used stations, but at the other 34 stations, passengers will be directed to pay the train operator.

The operators will handle tokens, passes, transfers, and cash. But they won't make change.

Uniformed and plainclothes transit police will be at many stations and on all trains in an effort to assure passenger safety, SEPTA officials said Tuesday. And security cameras in all stations and trains will be monitored by police, SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel III said.

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.

Market-Frankford Line

Frankford Trans. Center


Second Street

13th Street

15th Street

30th Street

52d Street

69th Street

Broad Street Line

Fern Rock Trans. Center

Olney Trans. Center


Cecil B. Moore

City Hall




215-854-4587 @nussbaumpaul

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