Conrad Benner, the founder of the cool photo blog Streets Dept, created a petition about four months ago to encourage SEPTA to start all-night service about four months ago.
Turns out, the plan to start a pilot program to do just that on the weekends was already in the works. The first night of it was on Saturday, and Benner raved about his 3 a.m. experience in a story on Newsworks. Says Benner:
What better way to celebrate the return of late-night service than with something most Philadelphians would shudder to think about: Meeting some friends for a late-night drink in another neighborhood! …
I did not see any of what some commenters were sure we’d find on late-night Philly train service: There were no homeless people sleeping on the cars, or in the stations; and there wasn’t a single person being rowdy in any sense. These were just regular, everyday people going about their night.
This is like Benner’s moment in the sun. Here’s an Inga Saffron Inky story about the same night. The overnight service will run Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day, when SEPTA will evaluate the program to see if it’s worth continuing.
In other, not so good news, the electronic payment system probably won’t be ready until sometime next year. It’s more than a year behind schedule, says Plan Philly.