By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA says schools and private companies aren’t the only entities that have trouble getting their employees in to work when a foot of snow falls on the Delaware Valley.

As retail outlets, restaurants, and other places of business found themselves working with skeleton crews, Septa says it did, too.

On Wednesday, with the snow piled up over a foot around the region (see related stories), SEPTA canceled 91 of its 742 Regional Rail trains.  And on-time performance, which is normally around 90 percent this time of year, dropped to 25 percent on that day.

SEPTA says 46 of its 197 engineers and 80 of its 389 conductors called out the day following the storm.  Nearly 200 bus operators were absent out of a total of 2,784 drivers.

SEPTA deputy general manager Jeff Knueppel says many of them just got stuck in the logistics of getting to work, like anyone else.

“It’s tough for many of our operators to get around, especially because many of their starts are very early in the morning,” he explained, “and many of them, on certain runs, have to travel very, very long distances.”

Overall, close to 20 percent of all train engineers and conductors didn’t make it to work on Wednesday.  On a typical winter weekday, absenteeism is about five percent.

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