I believe that I have without a doubt the worst SEPTA luck out of anyone, that is unless you have experienced a derailment, which I’m sure is coming my way very shortly.
Typically, the train I get on gets there between 3-5 minutes late. Okay, that’s not too bad, trains are always subject to the few minutes here and there. But on numerous occasions while en route, the train will just stop in the middle of the tracks for a good five minutes. I don’t know why it does, I haven’t talked to the driver, but for some reason it just stops. Either that or it goes dreadfully slow for some reason. On a normal day, I arrive at Temple University about 10 minutes after the scheduled arrival time, which is not good as the train times cut it close as it is.
However, it’s just the darndest thing that whenever I’m running late, the trains are on time! In an effort to get to Temple and not have to book it to class, I decided to take the 830am train instead of the 907 so I would get there with plenty of time to kill. Well traffic was a bummer and I hit a school zone (I’ll talk about this later), and got there at 8:31 just to see the train pull away from Langhorne. What the hell is up with that? They must have known I was running late and wanted to pull a fast one on me. So I waited for the 907 train. Was it late? You bet it was! Got there about 9:10, 9:11. Sure, it’s only three minutes but had that been the case for the earlier train, I would’ve made it!
I also found it hilarious while I was checking the train times during a class for my train that came in one hour, it was already marked “4 Late.” Gee, not surprising at all. For the most part, everyone I know who uses SEPTA on a daily basis doesn’t have these issues and their trains are on time.
Other instances that prove I’m bad luck: Me and my friend Jeff Hall were returning from a trip to South Philadelphia (Tony Luke’s to be specific) and we arrived at Suburban Station and missed the train back home, and had to wait for the next one. It was sweltering hot down there, so we decided to take the Warminster Line up to Jenkintown just to get out of the heat, and wait there for the West Trenton Line train which came 25 minutes afterward. We get in the train and leave the station to find out that the air conditioner in the car in which we were sitting was broken, and we dead stopped before Wayne Junction so mechanics could board the train to see if they could fix it. If they couldn’t, we were to jump on another train. So we sat there for ten minutes while they hit things with wrenches and flipped a switch and I believe it worked. I couldn’t tell. Had to be the car that we picked, and had to be the train line we decided to go on. We eventually did make it to Jenkintown but we would’ve been better off waiting at Suburban.
Another situation was just this week, where I decided to take an earlier train on Tuesday (645 instead of 655) which was an express train that didn’t stop at Temple, but stopped at Fern Rock TC. I was to go to Fern Rock and take the Broad Street Line down to Cecil B. Moore Station (Temple University) just to see if it were any more time-efficient than taking the Local 655 train to Temple. Remind me to never do this again, as it was such a hassle. But anyway, my friend Noel rides this train on a daily basis, and it usually gets to Fern Rock around 710. The day I decide to ride this train, they just happened to be one car short, and everyone had to pack into the car we were in. We also made the infamous SEPTA “stop randomly for a number of minutes” move because I was on this train, and didn’t get to Fern Rock until around 718 or so, which caused me to miss the earlier subway train down to Temple. I still made it to class with time to spare.
Another reason why I did the above ^^ – on Monday, I was feeling a bit tired on the way down to school and decided to squeeze in some sleep on the train. I got a little too much sleep, slept right past the Temple station, and woke up as it was pulling into Market East Station (the very next stop after Temple). So I rode the train to Suburban Station and then took the Broad Street Line back up to Temple, and still made it with 10 minutes to spare. I wanted to feel my options out if there ever would be a situation that I would have to take an alternate route.
I really think that SEPTA’s waiting for an exam day to pull a big one on me, such as a train derailment, collision, or maybe even a suicidal patron will mosey onto the tracks.
If you’d like to hear more about my daily, and yes, I mean daily, SEPTA complaints, follow me on twitter @mackdaddyps2 ! My #traintweet-s- have been catching on with a number on my friends, and now I’m starting to post #trainhaiku-s-, I’m sure you wont want to miss that!