SEPTA Talks "Communications Issues," Apologizes to Riders

An honest and open letter on the SEPTA website details what happened behind the scenes of yesterday's major rail delays

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10

    SEPTA opens up in an honest letter to its regional rail customers to talk about what they describe as "A Bad Evening - Not So Great Communications."

    The letter on SEPTA's website says it all started on the Paoli/ Thorndale line during yesterday's evening commute.

    The train was on its way to Center City when SEPTA says it broke down and blocked the tracks for the Manayunk/ Norristown line trains.

    SEPTA refers to the spot where the train broke down as a "critical point" at the 16th Street Interlocking, which apparently led to a switch issue. 

    68 trains were delayed, anywhere from 6 minutes to 52 minutes, according to SEPTA.

    They are still investigating what caused what break down, but today they talked more about the way they communicate with customers.

    "In the age of Social Media, there are many who believe we should be able to instantaneously communicate detailed information explaining exactly what is going on and what impact it might have for that moment's commute. It all comes down to a question of balance - quickly delivered bad or incomplete information or good information that has the benefit of a few minutes of investigation - which is more valuable to customers in the long run?" SEPTA stated in its online letter.

    When there is a equipment problem, SEPTA says it can take 8-10 minutes to figure out what the problem is.

    "So should we announce that the train is having a problem at minute 2 when we don't yet know how we're going to fix it? Some may say - yes SEPTA - talk to us - and some may say Duh SEPTA, we're stuck on the train or waiting on the platform - tell us something we don't already know," the letter stated.

    The online post apologized to customers for the delay and admitted emergency communications is something they will keep working on.