Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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Making information available to SEPTA employees and customers, about service and service changes, is one of the Authority's critical business objectives. Making improvements in the way we communicate and the tools and options available to get information is one of the most important aspects of our Regional Rail service improvement program. Paper timetables and poster notices will always be staples in our communication program but in the digital age we understand that customers expect and want rapid access to current service conditions delivered to them - via their phones and tablets - before they arrive at their station. Consistency, accuracy, and timeliness of communications, especially in the event of a service delay or emergency is essential and the Authority is working to build a diverse portfolio of tools - traditional and digital/social platforms - to address a diverse and highly mobile customer and employee base.

Real-Time Information

Real Time Vehicle Location (RTVL) Project:

  • RTVL will provide real time vehicle locating information with updates on vehicle position every thirty (30) seconds for all SEPTA Regional Rail cars
    • Will provide improved display of current train location
    • Proof of concept approved and system testing continues
    • Program rollout anticipated May/June 2017
  • Data will be delivered to Control Center, mobile apps, SEPTA website to display train location and arrival times for service on:
    • SEPTA operating territory
    • In Rail Tunnels
    • ON AMTRAK TERRITORY (Greatly improved information)

Social Media

  • SEPTA Social Media information personnel located in Control Center to facilitate delivery of information
  • All Regional Rail Line specific Twitter notices have been linked to @SEPTA_Social to maximize broadcast of service messaging
  • Campaign in development to promote availability of real time information tools for customers - Twitter, Ready Notify, Next to Arrive, System Status launching second quarter of 2017

On-Board Announcements

  • Control Center Dispatchers contact Crews to inform them about delays or Police related activity
    • Adding Control Center personnel to provide additional resources to relay customer communication information to Crews
    • Enables Dispatchers to focus more on resolving operational issues without compromising customer outreach
    • Piloting using new, handheld SEPTA Key fare validation equipment to relay service delay information to Crews

  • Conductors/Assistant Conductors relay information to customers
    • Special Conductor Communication Skills Training in development, begins Spring 2017
    • Working to establish critical balance to maintain safety while keeping customers updated
    • Keeping customers informed of delays over 2 - 3 minutes

Service Emergency Response Team Project

  • Service Emergency Response Team Program
    • SEPTA employees with Ambassador experience will be assigned to specific lines/stations
    • Assist Operations personnel at stations
    • Assist customers with information or service alternatives as appropriate
    • Currently 79 employees recruited to cover Regional Rail network - split into north and south teams
    • Training starts early May (2017)
    • June launch of program