Join us Thursday at 5 p.m. for Music Fest, a multi-site concert along the Chestnut Hill West line. We’ll start at Chelten Station for a set featuring local cellist Dani Hawkins, then hop on the CHW and head to Tulpehocken Station, where Dani will join Midnight on the Water, a string ensemble, for a set at 5:30. Then we’ll load get on the train once more to Carpenter Lane Station for the musicians to join Koof & Friends for the biggest set of the night starting at 6:20. It’s going to be a blast.

These concerts will take place in the parking lots of each station. The rain date is Tuesday, May 21. Feel free to bring food and drinks for a post-concert picnic at the Mt. Airy EcoLab!

The Future of SEPTA’s Regional Rail is Up to Us!

The Save the Train Coalition’s more than 7,000 members and 67 partners — including community groups, developers, houses of worship, environmental groups, historic sites, businesses, arts organizations, and educational institutions, plus nine local elected officials — are delighted and encouraged by the positive response we’ve received from residents, public officials, and even SEPTA itself.

But there’s so much more to do, and time is of the essence: This year’s state budget negotiations must wrap up by the end of June to close SEPTA’s current year deficit, while increasing ridership and securing future growth-level budgets for SEPTA are longer-term challenges.

We know that more frequent service makes taking transit more appealing. Over the past few months, much of the data we’ve gathered suggests that many of our neighbors don’t ride because the trains don’t run often enough. Chestnut Hill West line trains run hourly on weekdays except for the very peak commuting times, and the last train leaves 30th Street Station at 9:52 p.m.

It’s even worse on weekends: Trains run every two hours and stop at 8:27 p.m. (The East line runs a little later). If you’re headed to a museum, concert, sporting event, or out to dinner, transit is often an obstacle, not an option.

At the same time, remote work has ended many commutes, and the shift toward options like ride-hailing services has hurt public transit ridership deeply. According to U.S. Census Bureau data, only 18% of Northwest residents headed for jobs in Center City took public transit, while 54% drove.

We find ourselves in a “use it or lose it” situation — without more riders, it’s harder to make the case to SEPTA as well as state and local politicians that our lines are worth continuing to invest in. That’s why a big part of the Coalition’s campaign has focused on encouraging more of us to ride the train and the bus.

At the same time, SEPTA is envisioning a new lifestyle Regional Rail system that would increase frequency of service.

It’s a tantalizing — and truly transformational — schedule that would deliver on the promise of our area as a “transit hub” for current residents as well as our future neighbors moving into the many new housing developments. It will take cars off the road, easing traffic as well as climate impact, and make it easier for students, seniors, and all non-commuters to use Regional Rail as an easy, affordable, and reliable way of getting around.

When we ask for your support and volunteer time, it’s this vision of better and increased service frequency that is our goal: creating a Regional Rail system that meets the needs of today while building a more sustainable, more usable system.

If we can solve SEPTA’s near-term budget crisis and get SEPTA back on a healthy track of increasing ridership, the future is bright.

With that vision in mind, please put your advocate hat on and help us get SEPTA back on track towards this new future of Regional Rail.

  1. SIGN OUT PLEDGE to ride transit one more time each week (if you haven’t already). If you’ve already signed, please share! Every single ride — and every single rider — matters to our campaign.
Sign the Pledge
  1. VOLUNTEER! Meet us at the Chestnut Hill Home & Garden Festival this Sunday, May 19, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We’ll have a table with the rider’s pledge, yard signs and other promotional materials, and volunteers who can answer your questions.
  1. DONATE! In order to increase ridership and continue our work to get SEPTA back on track and keep the Chestnut Hill West running, we need financial support. Printing costs for flyers, posters, yard signs to get the word out and keep the campaign running is expensive!

Thank you!

Anne Dicker, Suzanne Ponsen, Bob Previdi, Linda Bell, Anne McNiff, Edward Robinson, and Rosalind McKelvey, on behalf of the Save the Train Coalition