Seasonal service changes from Amtrak, RTA of Southeast Michigan, SEPTA

May 22, 2024
The three transit agencies are increasing service on some of its transit options.

Seasonal service changes are coming to Amtrak, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) of Southeast Michigan and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). 


Amtrak Downeaster seasonal service to Old Orchard Beach began May 20. The Amtrak Downeaster reports a 38 percent increase in ridership to the Old Orchard Beach station since 2020 and a 148 percent increase since Downeaster service began to Old Orchard Beach in 2002. 

“The Downeaster stops in so many great and walkable destinations like Freeport, Old Orchard Beach, Saco and Brunswick. This pass gives locals, as well as visitors spending multiple nights in the area, the flexibility to travel without the hassle and expense of driving and parking,” said Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) Marketing Director Taylor Belanger. 

Additionally, Downeaster Trains 689/699/1689 will operate as L stops at all stations north of Woburn. An L-Stop allows the train to leave stations north of Woburn up to 10 minutes early if there are no reserved passengers expected. NNEPRA says the change reinforces the need for passengers to make advanced reservations on late night trains. 

RTA of Southeast Michigan 

The RTA of Southeast Michigan will resume extended D2A2 weekend service for the summer season. The Midnight Summer Run will depart downtown Detroit, Mich., at 11:55 p.m. starting on May 24 and running through Aug. 28. The expanded hours of operation are designed to increase convenience and accessibility for people traveling between Detroit and Ann Arbor on weekends.  

On Memorial Day weekend, the service will be available from Friday to Sunday. However, the weekend service will only be available on Friday and Saturday nights beginning May 31 for the remainder of the summer. 

"At the RTA, our top priority is to make it as convenient and accessible as possible for passengers to use transit to get where they need to go," said Ben Stupka, executive director of the RTA of Southeast Michigan. "Last year, we explored extending hours during the summer months and it was used most during weekends so we decided to bring it back for summer 2024 during those peak times. There are a lot of concerts, festivals and other events planned for this summer and we are excited to offer these later routes to help people use transit when traveling between Detroit and Ann Arbor."  

The D2A2 buses feature modern amenities, including comfortable seating, complimentary Wi-Fi and charging ports. D2A2 launched in partnership with the RTA of Southeast Michigan and the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority in 2020 shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan Flyer operates the coaches. RTA of Southeast Michigan notes there were nearly 8,500 rides on D2A2 during April 2024, a record for the service. 


SEPTA is returning its Philly PHLASH for the summer season. 

Established 30 years ago in 1994 - the Philly PHLASH is a visitor-friendly public transit service that operates daily and stops at some of Philadelphia, Pa.’s most popular tourist attractions. SEPTA notes the service is ideal for anyone looking to explore Philadelphia’s most famous areas. The ride is free with a SEPTA Key card.  

The Philly PHLASH will run daily through Sept. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All of its stops can be viewed here.   

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.