Friday, February 12, 2010


The trains have been a mess the last couple of days. Let me preface my comments by admitting that I dont expect Septa to be perfect given the amount of snow we've received over the past four days. However, what I do expect is a bit more customer service.

Example #1:
Last night, I got on the 5:22 train. Septa has a website called "Trainview" that shows realtime train status. Prior to leaving the office, Trainview told me that my train was only a few minutes late. Upon arriving at Suburban Station, my train pulled up more or less on time. However, this is where things took an immediate downward spiral.

The train sat for 30 minutes on the platform. Not once in that 30-minute span of time did a conductor make any sort of arrangement as to what the problem was. I am not asking much - just tell me whats up, even if you dont know the answer as to when the problem will remedied. Knowing something is better than knowing nothing. Turns out they couldnt find an engineer to drive the train. I am assuming that Septa was short-staffed on crews - people probably called out of work. Thats no big deal -I can understand that - just tell me what the hell is going on.

Example #2:
Monday night, Septa sends a two-car train in lieu of the normal 5 car train for the 5:50 pm train. As you can imagine, it was bedlam. People were crammed everywhere. Once we left Suburban Station, we were filled to the max. The friggen train has the audacity to pull up to the platform at 30th Street Station (that's the next stop) and take on passengers!! I hear the conductor yelling in the vestibule "MOVE BACK MOVE BACK MAKE SOME ROOM." Me, being the always even keeled calm and resolute perform, yelled back "WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GO?" C'mon man, use some friggen common sense.

Example #3:
Tonight, I get down to the station and its again the scene of chaos and anarchy. All trains were suspended due to signal problems or some cockamamy shit like that. Everyone is milling around the station, waiting for an update. All of the train status boards at each stairwell to the platforms were more or less blank. Occasional announcements were being made, but they were inaudible. How bout putting a couple of real-live customer service people at each stairwell periodically giving some updates to the throngs of passengers standing around with their thumbs up their asses?

FYI, as soon as one of the outbound trains arrived at Suburban station, I ran down that platform and jumped and amazingly got a seat. Cha-ching.

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