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SEPTA Explains Why It Couldn’t Handle The Early Rush Hour Tuesday

SEPTA Market East around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (credit: Lynne Adkins/KYW Newsradio)

SEPTA Market East around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday (credit: Lynne Adkins/KYW Newsradio)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - SEPTA officials had some explaining to do about the Tuesday afternoon crush of regional rail passengers trying to get out of the city early.  At issue was whether SEPTA could have done more.

After city government and many businesses closed early Tuesday, Suburban Station and Market East train platforms were packed with what amounted to an early rush hour. But SEPTA did not add extra cars or extra runs, resulting in equally packed trains.

SEPTA deputy general manager Jeffrey Knueppel says shifting operations quickly is logistically difficult.

“There’s a lot of issues. There’s a lot of vehicle logistics. There’s not only having (enough) engineers but also the conductors.”

And then there are federal regulations.

“The federal government places requirements on how many hours and when our crews can work. And if we had moved them into normally our break periods, we wouldn’t have had them for late at night, then other people would have been stranded.”

Still, Knueppel says, he understands the frustrations of riders.

“We do appreciate our customers for putting up with kind of a pretty big overcrowding situation.”

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