PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) --SEPTA announced Friday that service will be suspended on all Regional Rail Lines, bus and trolley routes and the Norristown High Speed Line during this weekend's blizzard, which is expected to arrive Friday night.
At a press conference Friday morning Jeffrey Knueppel, General Manager for SEPTA, announced the suspension of most operations for a 24 hour period starting Saturday at 4 a.m. - the end point being subject to change as conditions improve or worsen.
Knueppel explains, "We have been monitoring the storm all week, and as forecasts are now calling for blizzard conditions moving into our region late Friday evening and early Saturday morning, we believe it is necessary to suspend service on our buses, Regional Rail, trolleys and Norristown High Speed Line. Zero visibility and high winds will make it too dangerous for our customers and our employees to be on the roads and rails. It could also be difficult for our crews to rescue stranded passengers and make emergency repairs if needed."
However, the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines will continue to run.
Knueppel says, "The Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines are important to carry emergency personnel, hospital employees, and other essential workers during the storm. We also have the option of continuing service on these routes just within the underground tunnels should operating conditions become unsafe above ground."
Trains may still be seen operating during the suspension, Knueppel said. Those trains will be operating as pilot vehicles in an effort to clear the rails and overhead wires of snow and ice during the storm.
Riders who use SEPTA's CCT Connect service are encouraged to move up critical medical appointments to Friday, as service on Saturday and Sunday will be limited to dialysis patients only.
SEPTA will continue to provide updates to its service status on SEPTA.org and on social media (Facebook/Twitter).
Knueppel ended the press conference by saying, "We are urging everyone who does not need to travel to stay home during this severe weather storm event."
SEPTA says their Customer Service Call Center will open at 6 a.m. Saturday, and will be staffed with extra personnel. Customers can call (215) 580-7800 to speak to SEPTA representatives.