After subway derailment, Council to hold hearing on SEPTA safety
Following this week’s derailment on the Market-Frankford Line and the recent discovery of more defects with SEPTA cars, City Council on Thursday said it will hold a hearing on safety issues involving the city’s transit service.
Following this week's derailment on the Market-Frankford Line and the recent discovery of more defects with SEPTA cars, City Council on Thursday said it would hold a hearing on safety issues involving the transit agency.
"Normally SEPTA has a good track record in delivering services," said Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, chairman of Council's transportation committee. "But for some apparent reason at the end of last year going into this year, they have been consistently having problems impacting their ridership. … I had to take a step back and say, 'What's going on here?' "
Problems involving SEPTA cars and service have been piling up.
On Tuesday, a car on the Market-Frankford Line derailed and crashed into a stopped train, seriously injuring one of the operators.
Earlier this month, dozens of cars were pulled from the same line after SEPTA inspectors discovered cracks in the trains' vent boxes, which in three cases extended into the load-bearing part of the car.
Last month, two trolley cars collided in West Philadelphia, resulting in non-life-threatening injuries for more than 45 people.
In June, systemic flaws found in a load-bearing piece of Regional Rail cars led to 120 cars being pulled out of service, causing long delays for commuters.
Commuters on Regional Rail also complain of regular delays. In 2015, nearly one in five trains was late.
Johnson said the hearing would focus on the derailments, the status of replacing or fixing the defective rail cars, and "overall, making sure they're being proactive when it comes to public safety."
SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch, in a statement, said the agency welcomed the opportunity to testify before Council.
"Safety is the authority's top priority," he said. "SEPTA looks forward to discussing the proactive steps it takes to ensure that vehicles, equipment and infrastructure are safe for our customers and employees."