ABOVE PHOTO: A Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority bus (SEPTA) is driven on Market Street in Philadelphia, Friday, Oct. 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Congressman Dwight Evans (D-3rd Dist.) and Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (D-5th Dist.) last week announced a $9.8 million federal grant for SEPTA to design and construct two dedicated end-of-route bus layover facilities at two locations in South Philadelphia.
“I’m pleased that more federal funding I voted for is coming back to Philadelphia to improve SEPTA service, and even more funding for SEPTA and other transportation projects will be on the way, thanks to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that I voted for,” Evans said.
“Investments in public transportation are key to future economic growth in our region — helping more people get to and from work, as well as increasing access to commercial centers like those in South Philadelphia near the proposed facility sites,” Scanlon said.
“Thanks to this grant, SEPTA will be able to improve the travel experience for riders and provide a better work experience for operators. It’s a win-win.”
“SEPTA’s bus network is vital to mobility in our city and region, connecting hundreds of thousands of riders to work, school, medical appointments and other essential destinations every day,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “Funding through this grant provides enhanced customer accessibility while also allowing SEPTA to invest in our frontline operators and provide them with the facilities they need to do their jobs safely. We are grateful for the support of Representatives Evans and Scanlon for making this funding possible and appreciate the City of Philadelphia for partnering with us on this important project.”
Together these locations will serve a total of nine bus routes – five east-west and four north-south bus routes. The new facilities will include disability-accessible bus stops with benches, shelters, signage, lighting, safety enhancements, and bathroom facilities for SEPTA bus operators.
The routes and proposed locations for the new centers are:
East-West Routes: G, 7, 29, 64, 79; Proposed location of facility: near Pier 70 in South Philadelphia
North-South Routes: 25, 47, 47M, 57; Proposed location of facility: South 3rd Street and West Oregon Avenue
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, these routes provided 65,000 daily trips.
SEPTA said having dedicated, permanent facilities it controls will also allow for savings in maintenance and rental costs that when coupled with modest route modifications will yield nearly $4 million of savings in operating costs annually.
The City of Philadelphia is a close partner with SEPTA on this project. Construction of the transportation centers will have the further advantage of facilitating SEPTA’s Bus Revolution, an ongoing comprehensive redesign of its bus network.