SEPTA bus revolution


Keyshawn Ward-Delisme

A DE40LFR bus model made on ROBLOX

Hundreds of Philadelphia students and teachers ride SEPTA almost every day. With the School District of Philadelphia handing students pre-paid student SEPTA Key cards active from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a limited number of usages or “taps” set by the school. These cards are free to use on SEPTA’s trolley, train, subway, and bus lines with an additional fee required to be used on the regional rail. Out of all these methods of transportation, the largest and most important one would be SEPTA’s bus lines.

Model SEPTA bus passion project (Keyshawn Ward-Delisme)

In early 2021 SEPTA had begun to pro- pose ways to make the bus system faster and more efficient, and thus SEPTA’s Bus Revolution was given life. For most of 2021, the Bus Revolution would go through development and planning to see what and how things would change for the current bus network. This stage would continue into 2022 where Drafts for this new net- work would be started and later shared with the public on SEPTA’s Bus Revolution Website in the latter half of that year. These drafts would detail things that would happen with this revolution. The first of the changes would be the shift from double-digit route numbers to triple digits with routes like route 4 turning into the 516, or route 9 turning into 599. Another change would be the extending, shortening, cut- ting, rerouting, and combining of the cur- rent existing routes.

The draft from fall 2022, detailed how certain routes would be drastically changed, the public was pretty vocal about the changes being conducted and how it would affect the status quo. Some people expressed how it would take longer/be more difficult getting to and from work/ school with the changes.

As of mid-March 2023, SEPTA decided to revise the old draft after hearing the voices from the citizens of Philadelphia and the general backlash that had occurred. This new draft explains the changes a little better and is formatted in a way where one can see each route and its effects. If the public is satisfied with the changes, in the Summer SEPTA will try and move on to finalizing the final Bus Network and continue to have hearings before finally implementing changes in 2024.

While SEPTA may have good intentions and truly want to improve the current transit system, their plans may cause more problems than solutions. One of these problems would be Broad Street, more specifically the 4 and 16. According to the draft, the 16 would be cut in half, still start- ing from Cheltenham Avenue and Ogontz Avenue but would stop at North Philly Station. This would force more people to take the 4 to get further along Broad Street, and while the new draft explains how the 4 would become more frequent, it may still have an issue with capacity, especially during the weekdays. The changes from other routes as well it would funnel more people into both the Market-Frakford Line and the Broad Street Line, which most people don’t want to do due to the current state and condition of both, especially the Market-Frankford Line.

Along with the bus revolution, SEPTA is also working on improving the Regional Rail, Subways, and Trolley systems. They want to group the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, Norristown High-Speed Line, and Trolley lines under one umbrella known as SEPTA METRO. The changes they are planning won’t be as drastic as the changes to the bus network but is still

something to keep in mind. With SEPTA METRO, SEPTA is planning to change the signage and improve the equipment of the subway, trolley, and high-speed lines as they believe that currently it is inefficient, and may even be con- fusing to those who don’t live in Philly. These changes would include the renaming of lines like the Broad Street Line’s Lo- cal, Express, and Spur branch- es would be labeled as B1, B2, and B3, or the Trolley lines changing to T1, T2, T3, and so on so forth.

SEPTA officials have recommended going to www. for more information and up- dates regarding the Bus Revolution plans.