Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

Moderator: AlexC

Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby AlexC » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:31 am

http://www.fox29.com/news/local-news/fox-29-investigates/243092514-story
SEPTA claims it has 196 engineers (the people who operate the trains) but needs 213.

It hopes to have them by December and says it's training still more to cover retirements.

Still, in the wake of possibly the toughest year in its history, SEPTA now wants its riders to pony up, proposing rate hikes.

"SEPTA had the worst year last year, you've told me. But now you're going to ask passengers to pay more with an on-time record of under 90 percent?" Cole asked. "Is that fair?"

"Well, it's… well, you know … it is fair in the sense of the fact that this is what is needed to – it is fair," Showell-Lee said.

FOX 29 Investigates has found some of the highest train cancellations came on weekends and around big sporting events.

A general comparison of other commuter rail lines shows Boston's MBTA at 89 percent reliability for the last 30 days. New York's MTA also reports an 89 percent on-time performance for February.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby Limited-Clear » Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:42 pm

The title of your post is misleading, it is manpower, that is not just engineers, septa has had a chronic shortage for years, retirements, injuries and even deaths have had significant impacts, unfortunately the known inevitable was clearly not addressed and has resulted in what we see today, how many years ago was Septa formed for the Railroad division (they had a mass hiring spree back then) all those that hired back then are now eligible for retirement, and Septa knew that all along......
The managers in their ivory tower know more and more about less and less, and end up knowing everything about *&$% all
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby NorthPennLimited » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:41 pm

Must be a slow news day.

Late trains and cancellations due to crew shortages have been the norm for a while at SEPTA.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby SemperFidelis » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:30 pm

And yet, looking at thier career opportunities on Septa.org, they are not hiring for engineers.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby Limited-Clear » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:26 pm

Use the apply for future vacancy then, Septa hires Assistant Conductors with the expectation they get promoted to Conductor or Engineer
The managers in their ivory tower know more and more about less and less, and end up knowing everything about *&$% all
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby SemperFidelis » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:30 pm

Already went through the interview process in 2000. Easily breezed theough the tests, the medical, and the interview. Unfortunately, internal politics due to a relative I have that SEPTA is not fond of seems to have been the only reason I wasn't hired. I can't say it was that definitevly, but they bothered to call my home and ask me if I was related to X, and, not kmowing that X was kimd of a thorn in SEPTA's side, said "Yes, sir.".

Didn't even send a letter saying I hadn't been accepted.

Honestly,it broke my heart a little. I've wanted to be an engineer since I was 2.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby South Jersey Budd » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:46 pm

Agreed no new news here. SEPTA has always run a skeleton workforce on the RR for engineers and conductors. SEPTA is the only commuter agency that has the majority of their regular crews work 6 days per week. Although many extra lists are 6 days per week, the regular crew assignments are mostly 5 days per week.

MIs-management at its best here. Railroad Retirement is simple to calculate. 60 years old with 30 (or more) years of service. SEPTA management knows the age and years of service of their engineers and conductors. It is simple math and SEPTA didn't prepare for expected attrition. Now they are in limbo, waiting for new engineer and conductor trainees to complete class which takes about 1 year.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby NorthPennLimited » Wed Aug 02, 2017 3:40 pm

Sunday was bad. There were a dozen or so cancellations due to manpower.

Do they offer an incentive to employees to reschedule or sell vacation time at premium rates in exchange for boosting the head counts to operate trains during the summer season?
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby rdgrailfan » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:36 pm

I wonder if they still let conductors bid on the first 20 Assistant conductor jobs?
That system pushed AC's to the extra board, while conductors took AC jobs at conductor pay.
Engineers different issue, but overall crew shortages are another concern.

Extra board assignment is / was a primary cause of people leaving.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby CNJGeep » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:18 am

rdgrailfan wrote:I wonder if they still let conductors bid on the first 20 Assistant conductor jobs?

They do, but the bottom six or seven are frequently pulled for Conductor assignments.
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Re: Engineer Shortages & Cancellations

Postby South Jersey Budd » Sat Aug 05, 2017 6:30 pm

rdgrailfan wrote:I wonder if they still let conductors bid on the first 20 Assistant conductor jobs?
That system pushed AC's to the extra board, while conductors took AC jobs at conductor pay.
Engineers different issue, but overall crew shortages are another concern.

Extra board assignment is / was a primary cause of people leaving.


As per United Transportation Union Agreement, when a qualified conductor picks an AC job, they are paid at AC rate. When SEPTA assigns a conductor to an AC run, they are paid at Conductor rate.

Many reasons for the manpower shortage on SEPTA's railroad. It's not a new problem.
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