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'Nothing Is Off Limits': SEPTA Announces New Initiative Aimed At Improving Regional Rail

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- SEPTA wants to improve the Regional Rail, and nothing is "off limits," the transportation authority said in announcing a new plan as part of its SEPTA Forward initiative Tuesday.

SEPTA says "Reimagining Regional Rail" will seek feedback from everyone from current riders to former rides to everyone in between, including Regional Rail operators and staff about how to revamp the service.

SEPTA said the goal is to "identify a longterm vision, as well as shorter-term improvements to services, schedules, and fare policies that make Regional Rail more convenient."

"With Reimagining Regional Rail, nothing is off-limits," SEPTA CEO Leslie S. Richards said. "We are rethinking frequency, route lengths, fares, connections to buses and rail transit and more -- all in the name of making Regional Rail more useful to more people."

Before the pandemic struck, SEPTA said 132,000 people rode the Regional Rail on a daily basis but many commuters who would benefit from the line chose other services due to more affordable fares, frequency of service, and accessibility. "Reimagining Regional Rail" wants to change that, according to SEPTA officials.

"It is time we reimagine our system based on the region's changing and diverse travel needs -- not just 9-to-5 commutes to work," SEPTA Assistant General Manager of Planning Jody Holton said.

Between now and the summer of 2022, SEPTA said it will dive into how to make the Regional Rail a more attractive option by improving service, schedules, and more convenient fares.

SEPTA has launched an online survey seeking feedback from the public. Click here if you want to make your voice heard. It will also hold a virtual meeting regarding the plan on Oct. 12. Click here to register.

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