SEPTA’s service-improvement efforts highlighted the Fishtown Neighbors Association’s monthly general membership meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
The meeting, which lasted a little over an hour and a half over Zoom, featured presentations from SEPTA representatives regarding SEPTA’s Bus Revolution project, trolley modernization program and improvements to the Girard Station exits. Various community concerns and questions were also addressed.
Bus Revolution is SEPTA’s multi-year effort to better improve and redesign the bus system throughout the city and surrounding area. The project is aiming to align bus services with changes to the city and region, simplify bus routes, and increase operational efficiency and effectiveness. Data collection and direct input from SEPTA users have played major roles in furthering its development.
Dan Nemiroff, a project manager for Bus Revolution, said that they are currently finalizing their analysis of the system’s existing conditions and are entering the scenario-development phase, which generates options for reorganizing the bus system. Implementation of those scenarios should begin in 2023.
“We’re working to refine the scenarios, we’re going to do a ton of engagement in the spring, and we’d have about two months of engagement between April and June coming everyone’s way,” Nemiroff said.
Moreover, SEPTA is continuing to plan its modernization of the trolley system. Elements include developing newer, more accessible vehicles and stations, constructing larger cars with more frequent service for faster trips, improving tunnel systems, and transitioning from pole to pantograph power across all service lines.
Jennifer Dougherty, the manager of long-range planning for SEPTA, said that modernizing the city’s trolley system will help create thousands of jobs, aid in the fight against climate change, and provide equal access to public transportation for low-income neighborhoods.
“We have a huge system,” Dougherty said. “It’s unique, it’s major, and it has untapped potential.”
Emily Silver, an architect in SEPTA’s bridges and buildings department, also presented the improvements that will be made to the Girard Station exit on the Market-Frankford line. The fare line, along with the roto-gates and emergency doors, will be moved from the platform to street level to improve safety. A covered shelter will also be added.
The date for FNA’s next general membership meeting will be announced at a later date.
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