SEPTA is bringing back the historic green and cream trolleys on Route 15 from Port Richmond to West Philadelphia on September 10.
In an email to WHYY News, SEPTA confirmed six PCC trolleys are ready to go up and down Girard Avenue in a few weeks. The trolleys will be ADA accessible.
Each one cost roughly $250,000 to restore and has been completely updated with new frames, floors, windows, wheelchair lifts, and HVAC units.
Several more are in various stages of repair at SEPTA’s shop on 49th Street at Woodland Ave. In total, there are 18 PCC Trolleys.
Since January 2020, buses have been occupying Route 15 due to 78% of the historic trolley fleet at the time failing inspections. SEPTA plans to use trolleys and buses while deploying restored trolleys to maintain route frequency.
The new trolley fleet will eventually replace the PCC Trolleys as part of SEPTA’s Trolley Modernization program. SEPTA was awarded more than $700 million for the project, which will replace every trolley in the fleet.
A SEPTA spokesperson said, “It could take as long as a decade for full implementation of the project.” Deliveries of the new vehicles will start in 2027.
The vintage 1947 trolleys are a model of streetcar called Presidents’ Conference Committee (PCC) cars. Their signature green-and-cream paint job easily recognizes them, silver-winged central headlight, rounded white roof, and red stripe running beneath the windows.
SEPTA workers are currently undergoing safety training following a series of crashes involving SEPTA vehicles over the past month, including a deadly incident where two SEPTA buses crashed into one another on Roosevelt Boulevard at Shelmire Avenue.
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