SEPTA’s “Bus Revolution” Plan Released, Major Changes Proposed

This previous Wednesday, about an hour before Hall Monitor Radio/Television went on the air, SEPTA released it’s updated “Bus Revolution” plan. The realignment of the bus routes has been a concern to Philadelphians since the idea was floated two years ago.

Despite concerns from SEPTA riders, advocacy groups, and elected officials, SEPTA has proposed wholesale changes to the bus lines that, at best, will prove confusing for riders and, at worst, will severely impact transit across the region.

According to details provided within the plan, 33 bus routes will be discontinued, 16 new routes will be added, and only 12 of the 150 routes will remain unchanged.

A key concern of the proposed changes is rider engagement; as Hall Monitor reported months ago, the public meetings scheduled to inform the public of the possible changes were severely lacking. To further complicate matters, it does not appear SEPTA made any attempt to reach riders while they were using public transit; no signs or other notice was put at stops or on buses to notify passengers changes may be occurring.

Another issue is the confusing nature of the proposed changes as presented. While it’s relatively easy to see how a route has changed, it is much more challenging to determine your new route-assuming there is one. Consumer Reporter Lance Haver is also concerned about how much farther people will have to walk to reach their new bus stops, which SEPTA consultants said could be a “short walk” for some riders.

“People want to know the definition of a short walk,” Haver said. “(SEPTA’s) definition of a short walk could actually be a half mile. Are people really willing to walk half a mile, as opposed to two blocks, to get on their bus?”

According to information provided by SEPTA, the ten busiest bus routes, all of which will see changes, are the following:

47 (Whitby to 5th-Godfrey)
G (Overbrook to Columbus Commons or Food Distribution Center)
23 (Center City to Chestnut Hill)
18 (Fox Chase to Cedarbrook Plaza)
52 (49th-Woodland to 54th-City or 50th Parkside)
56 (23rd-Venango and Bakers Centre to Torresdale-Cottman)
33 (Penn’s Landing to 23rd-Venango)
26 (Chelten Av Station to Frankford Transportation Center)
66 (Trackless Trolley/Frankford-Knights to Frankford TC)
57 (Whitman Plaza to Rising Sun-Olney or Fern Rock TC)
21 (Penn’s Landing to 69th Street TC)
60 (35th-Allegheny to Richmond-Westmoreland)
R (Henry-Midvale and Wissahickon TC to Frankford TC)

Of these routes, 47, G, and R are being eliminated and presumably replaced.

Opportunities for the public to hear from SEPTA directly are as follows (Only Philadelphia meetings are below) :

September 12th: 5-8 PM, 1234 Market Street

September 13th: 12-2 PM, Virtual (

September 13th: 5-7 PM, Virtual (

September 20th: 6-8 PM, Temple University – Liacouras Center
1776 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19121

September 27th: 5-8 PM, 1234 Market Street

We will continue our coverage of this story next week, when we will break down the potential impact of the changes, and the following week, when Lance Haver will report on the SEPTA’s Bus Revolution meeting.

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