SEPTA tries consolidating stops to improve service

Bus riders in Philadelphia will soon be acting as guinea pigs.

Passengers on the Route 47 bus, which runs along a 10-mile stretch from South Philadelphia to North Philadelphia, will have fewer stops for a while as part of a pilot project to improve the line.

Spokesman Andrew Busch said SEPTA is trying to improve service by passing about half the stops on the part of the route between Oregon Avenue and Market Street.

“We’re looking at this as kind of a proving ground for stop consolidation and improving service reliability,” said Busch. “And if it works like we expect it to, the plan would be definitely to look to expand it…We would be looking at routes where you can consolidate–you can have one stop for those two blocks instead of two like you do now.”

Busch said the agency tried not to inconvenience specific riders.

“We had to be careful to make sure that we weren’t eliminating any stops in critical areas like stops in front of senior centers, near child-care centers, if there were any medical facilities – even though it may only be a block away, those are the stops that you don’t want to eliminate,” he said.

SEPTA will also try to speed up the boarding process during peak travel times by letting riders who have passes board through the rear doors at some stops. SEPTA will collect and evaluate on-time performance data for six months, starting April 18.  Route 47 is SEPTA’s third busiest bus line.

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