Reliable public transportation – day or night – is one of the foundations of a flourishing, prosperous city. But as of today, Philadelphia shuts its doors at midnight. No, not its restaurants, or bars, both of which play a huge new role in its economic development. No, not even its new casino, which is open round the clock. But its two major public transportation lifelines close at midnight, seemingly unaware of the still buzzing city around it.
The closing of the Market-Frankford El and Broad Street Line Subway at midnight leaves Philadelphians with a few unnecessarily inconvenient, if not costly and potentially unsafe, options for getting around the city at night traveling to and from work, to a restaurant or bar across town, or to visit a friend's house in a different neighborhood. Those options are to take a cab (if you can find/afford one,) drive and take up an increasingly invaluable parking space, or wait for the wholly deficient "Night Owl" buses, which are simply not an option for people concerned about safety, who can afford any other option.
What reasons are there against running the Market-Frankford El and Broad Street Line Subway 24/7? That's when they do maintenance? Yes, but if other cities can manage to run their subway/el systems 24/7, including PATCO, and still perform necessary maintenance, then I suspect SEPTA can as well. Noise from the Market-Frankford El? Yes, but (as someone who lives a few blocks from the El,) I can tell you that trains run all night as it is. Why? Well, I don't know. I suppose for maintenance reasons. So yes, while there may be a few more trains overnight, it would be well worth any extra noise for the connivence and safety of taking the train.
It's time SEPTA and the City realize the benefits of keeping the Market-Frankford El and Broad Street Line Subway running 24/7. And hopefully this petition will show them that this is an important issue. It should not be easier to get to Lindenwold, New Jersey after a few drinks out with friends or co-workers, than it is to get to South Philly, Kensington, West Philly, the Lower Northeast, University City, Center City, or North Philly. It's time SEPTA went 24/7.
Sign this petition and share with your friends and loved ones! #SEPTA247