Take the subway late night, pay the train conductor?

All-night service on the SEPTA subway lines starts on Saturday, but if you’re getting on a train in South Philly after midnight, chances are, you’re going to have to pay the train conductor. Like on the bus.

A SEPTA official demonstrates how you'll pay after midnight at most South Philly stations. Pic from PhillyLiving.com
A SEPTA official demonstrates how you’ll pay after midnight at most South Philly stations. Pic from PhillyLiving.com

SEPTA says that when its experiment with overnight subway service begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday, June 15, only about a third of its stations will be staffed with anyone in the teller booth at the top of the platform. Only Lombard-South and Pattison Ave (AT&T) stations will have tellers down here.

Trains are set to run every 20 minutes overnight, and the conductor will collect transfers, tokens, passes and cash but won’t make change.

Says Philly.com:

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.

Oh, and remember that new payment technology that was supposed to be rolled out this year? It’s not coming online until spring.

9 thoughts on “Take the subway late night, pay the train conductor?

  • June 11, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    SEPTA 24/7: also a time machine to 1907

    • June 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Seriously. What is so difficult about making a subway like virtually every other city on earth that has one? You don’t need people in the booths if you have token machines at every stop. Or, a swipe ca…oh never mind.

      • June 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm


  • June 12, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Most of the stations will be business as usual, with a person in the booth. Those that are not staffed, where the train operator will collect the fare, are not the stations where you’ll see many people getting on the train. Not many people will be taking the getting ON the sub at Ellsworth-Federal at 3 in the morning.

    • June 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

      You mean like the people leaving a show at the Boot and Saddle?

      • June 12, 2014 at 11:38 am

        Most B&S show is over before the last regular 12:20AM train. Given that the B&S has a capacity of ~100, that some will leave early, some stay for drinks after, and many not take the BSL at all, I can’t imagine that their shows will make that much of an impact.

        • June 12, 2014 at 12:19 pm

          Plus the B&S’s customer base is not very “public trans centric”. I think it’s pretty oboivous these trains will be basically taking people out of Center City and returning virually empty.

          • June 25, 2014 at 12:27 pm

            Thats an assumption.. And even if it is accurate. The point is to offer an alternative to other forms of transit. That mean growing ridership. So just because they are “returning empty”, does not mean that they don’t intend to have riders heading in both directions…

            • June 25, 2014 at 12:52 pm

              Triy to pay attention. I was commenting in support of 24/7 subway trans. That doesn’t change the fact that there are basically going to be very very very few people headed into CC at 3:00 AM.
              Plus, the B&S clientele are bike riders! Which, btw, is a form of Aleternative Transportation.

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