Storm Travel: SEPTA Advises Staying Home if Possible & PHL Airport Has the Most Cancellations (By Far) in the Country Right Now

Mass transit agencies and PennDOT have already issued response plans and restrictions for Wednesday.

Editor's note: An updated travel and transit story posted Wednesday can be read here.

Highway restrictions, train schedule changes and largescale flight cancellations went into effect Tuesday across the varied modes of transportation in Philadelphia as the region braced for a potent snowstorm Wednesday.

Hundreds of flights were canceled at the Philadelphia International Airport and a spokeswoman said travelers could expect hundreds more to be canceled.

American Airlines had already canceled more than half of its scheduled upcoming flights by early Tuesday afternoon. Airlines, the airport spokeswoman said, are asking passengers to change their travel plans.

"Overall, we expect more than 50 percent of today's flights will be canceled," spokeswoman Mary Flannery said in an email. On average, the airport handles about 1,000 flights each day.

The snowstorm that began in the Philadelphia region at noon Tuesday is to blame. It's the fourth nor'easter in a month, and most damaging to the prospects of flying out of or into Philadelphia is that the hazardous conditions will last 36 hours.

Up to a foot of snow is expected to fall in many places across southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, according to the NBC10 First Alert Weather Team. Strong winds and flooding in coastal towns are also forecast.

Mass transit, including trains on SEPTA, PATCO, Amtrak and NJ Transit, was shifting into alternative schedules by Tuesday afternoon. 

SEPTA General Manager Jeff Kneuppel said Wednesday will be a very difficult travel day for anyone using the system. The agency had subways and buses operating on a normal schedule Wednesday morning but Regional Rail Lines were on a modified schedule and the Cynwyd Line won't operate.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has issued restrictions on certain vehicles traveling state highways, starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Here is a link to the full list of restrictions. They concern commercial trucking, hauling trailers, motorcycles and RVs, and the restrictions applied to all highways throughout southeastern Pennsylvania.

  • In Philadelphia, where a storm emergency will go into effect 9 a.m. Wednesday, all cars parked along streets designated "snow emergency routes" as well as nearby intersection corners need to be moved. Or, the city said, the cars will be towed to other locations. Here is a map of the routes. If your car is moved, call (215)686-SNOW to find it. The city said car searchers should not call 9-1-1.
  • NJ Transit said its trains would operate with a "severe weather rail schedule," meaning limited weekday service. Its bus service could be suspended before the evening rush hour begins, the agency warned. Here is a link to service changes and other anticipated disruptions to travel on the transit system.
  • Amtrak said its trains would operate on a modified schedule. Here is the link to the full schedule changes.
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