SEPTA releases final Bus Revolution proposal, vote expected as soon as next month

“We will continue to listen to our riders and stakeholders to ensure that our network provides equitable access for all,” SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards said.

SEPTA bus crossing an intersection.

Norristown, Pa. (Kimbelry Paynter/WHYY)

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SEPTA released a final proposal for its Bus Revolution project on Monday. It could be voted on by the transit authority’s board as soon as next month.

The new network would offer 30% more frequent routes and “deliver a simplified bus network,” according to a release. It’s faced more than 200 public meetings and multiple delays, as well as criticism over the years due to many planned route cuts.

While the proposal would make bus arrivals more frequent by following direct routes, some riders could be at a disadvantage as the proposed changes would require them to travel longer distances to reach their bus stops.

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SEPTA CEO Leslie Richards said the updated routes would improve access to “our families, friends, healthcare, jobs, education, and places of worship.”

“We have worked closely with City Council and our riders, operators, and stakeholders for more than two years to deliver a plan that will make our bus network more frequent, reliable, and accessible across the entire region,” Richards said in the release. “As we work toward implementation, we will continue to listen to our riders and stakeholders to ensure that our network provides equitable access for all.”

The proposal is expected to be considered for a vote by the SEPTA Board at its next meeting on May 23.

Following feedback from the public and City Council, SEPTA made the following changes to its Bus Revolution plan:

  •  Reinstate the full alignment of Route 32 between Roxborough and South Broad Street serving Strawberry Mansion and Fairmount
  •  Reinstate the full alignment of Route 16 to City Hall
  •  Restore the full-length alignment of Route 57 (removing the split at York and Dauphin)
  •  Reinstate Route H as Route 71 to preserve connections in Mt. Airy and Germantown to the Broad Street Line
  •  Extend Route 26 through East Falls to the new Wissahickon Transit Center
  •  Reinstate Route 12 to 50th and Woodland
  •  Extend Route 73 along Aramingo and Frankford avenues (replacing Route 25)
  •  Restore Route 18 alignment in Cedarbrook to preserve local service on Mt. Pleasant Avenue, Michener Avenue and Roumfort Road
  •  Increase the frequency of Route 52 trips serving 54th and City Avenue to ensure North 52nd Street in Wynnefield is served by the frequent bus network
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Portions of the new network will launch in the summer of 2025 and will continue through the fall.

System-wide ridership in March was 65% of pre-COVID March 2019 ridership, according to SEPTA data, the second-highest recovery rate since the start of the pandemic.

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