SEPTA aims to ease Route C bus confusion by turning one route into two

SEPTA’s Route C bus may soon be broken into two separate loops with two separate route numbers.

The bus currently runs on Broad Street from Pattison Avenue in South Philadelphia to Cheltenham and Ogontz avenues near West Oak Lane. However, there is also a “C spur route” that runs between Broad Street and Rising Sun Avenue to Nedro Avenue and 11th Street near the Fern Rock Transportation Center in Olney.

“That creates some confusion,” said SEPTA’s Andrew Busch. “They’re not always sure where to hop on.”

In an effort cut down on some of that confusion, SEPTA is proposing to get rid of the Route C bus and replace it with two new routes – Route 4 and Route 16.

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SEPTA may convert the Route C bus into Routes 4 and 16. (Aaron Moselle/for NewsWorks)

 
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If the SEPTA board approves the plan, changes would take hold in February. (Aaron Moselle/for NewsWorks)

Under the plan, Route 4 would run from AT&T Station in South Philadelphia to Nedro Avenue and 11th Street. Route 16 would run between City Hall and Cheltenham and Ogontz avenues.

“We will have the same area covered, but it’s going to have defined endpoints,” said Busch of the cost-neutral plan.

Lawrence Whitaker of Germantown agreed that the current route can be confusing for riders and is often unreliable.

“It’s too much. I try to find another way to go,” said Whitaker as cars whizzed down Cheltenham Avenue.

Whitaker doesn’t think dividing the route would be an improvement. If anything, it might make things worse.

“Now you’re just making someone get off the bus and wait for another bus,” he said. “Elderly people don’t want to keep getting off the bus.”

Stephanie Williams of Mt. Airy said the new routes would only serve to separate Philadelphians from one another.

“It’ll be very convenient for all the new Center City yuppies to not have to co-mingle with people who ride that bus from one end of the city to the other,” said Williams. “It’s in keeping with what’s going on – two cities in one.”

A public hearing announcing the proposed changes was held Tuesday.

If the SEPTA Board of Directors approves the plan, riders will see Route 4 and Route 16 buses in February 2012.

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