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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis November 2, 2012
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SEPTA Works to Restore Service After Hurricane
BY ANDREW BUSCH, Press Officer, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, PA

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) crews worked around the clock to fix damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, which moved through the Philadelphia area on Oct. 29 and 30.

To help ensure public safety, SEPTA suspended service during the storm.

“Suspending our service in the face of an unprecedented storm like Sandy was in the best interest of the safety of our customers and employees,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “It also helped us protect our vehicles and infrastructure, which put us in position to restore service as soon as possible after the storm.”

The service suspension began at 12:30 a.m. Oct. 29, as the storm’s winds and rains began bearing down on the region. Crews worked around the clock, both during and after the storm, to clear downed trees from rail tracks and keep drains clear to prevent flooding.

These efforts played a major role in allowing SEPTA to begin restoring service at noon Oct. 30—only a few hours after the worst of the massive storm moved through the Philadelphia region.

By that afternoon, SEPTA had resumed subway service and operations on most city and suburban bus routes. Commuter rail—SEPTA’s Regional Rail system—returned in time for the rush hour Oct. 31.

Before, during, and after the storm, SEPTA coordinated efforts with local officials including Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. The mayor praised the agency’s efforts at a post-storm press conference Oct. 30 when SEPTA announced service resumption plans.

“SEPTA has exceeded expectations,” Nutter said of the authority’s efforts to get buses, trains and trolleys back in service in Sandy’s aftermath. “SEPTA’s operation is critical to this city and this region. It is the way we move people, goods, and services around this region, and that’s why we’re such strong supporters of SEPTA and mass transit.”



A SEPTA wire train crew worker heads up to work on catenary on the Lansdale/Doylestown Regional Rail Line. The wires were damaged during Hurricane Sandy.



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