SEPTA considered 187 proposed changes to its transit routes this year, but just two made the final cut: Extending Route 2 to Wayne Junction Station, and splitting Route 310’s long loop into two smaller routes.
SEPTA’s Board formally adopted the changes on Thursday as part of authority’s 2017 Annual Service Plan (ASP). Every year, SEPTA planners consider suggestions, including passenger-submitted proposals, for new routes and tweaks to existing ones.
The ASP will also reduce the maximum number of passengers allowed per bus, by three on 40-foot buses and four on 60-foot buses. The change is limited to SEPTA’s newer low-floor buses, which have slightly less standing space than the older models.
Starting this winter, some rush hour buses on Route 2 will continue trips to the Wayne Junction Regional Rail station, rather looping back South down 17th Street. SEPTA hopes these buses will help city residents reverse commute to jobs on the Lansdale/Doylestown, Warminster and West Trenton Regional Rail lines. SEPTA expects the extension to cost $35,000 a year.
SEPTA will also split the Horsham Breeze into two routes: a new Route 311 will join Route 310 in looping around office parks and other employment centers in Horsham and Upper Dublin. The split should improve bus frequencies and reduce lateness. Adding a new route while shortening Route 310 should cost $311,000 a year after accounting for additional fare revenues, SEPTA estimates.
SEPTA staff ultimately did not recommend a few large proposals they themselves floated at an open house earlier this year, including enhanced bus service along Roosevelt Boulevard and creating a new route to link Brewerytown with University City via the Ben Franklin Parkway. Those proposals are merely delayed, not dead: SEPTA expects to include them in next year’s service plan update, following additional planning.
Most of the other 183 discarded suggestions came from passengers. SEPTA staff is still studying proposed changes to Routes G and 30. Twenty other passenger proposals were deferred for future consideration