SEPTA gathered with local officials and community members on Monday, September 10, 2012 to break ground on the reconstruction of a major transit hub in Strawberry Mansion.
The 33rd and Dauphin Bus Loop Improvement Project, a $4.4 million initiative funded by a competitive grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), will result in the full renovation of a key, but aging facility for city bus operations. The loop is one of SEPTA’s last remaining “trolley barns”, and its legacy will remain in-tact, with the new loop incorporating original brick and other materials that will be recycled and used in the reconstruction.
“In addition to modern amenities for customers, this state-of-the-art transit hub will serve as a centerpiece for neighborhood revitalization efforts,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “SEPTA looks forward to providing the community with a first-class facility.”
The loop serves 2,115 riders daily as the terminus for routes 7, 39 and 54, and with stops on routes 32 and 61. In addition to neighborhood residents and nearby businesses, it provides service to institutions such as the Dell East Music Center and Strawberry Mansion High School.
The 18-month project will result in a variety of improvements in and around the facility, such as a restored main building, which will feature salvaged brick to help preserve the “trolley barn” heritage. Existing decorative cornice trim will be repaired and painted, and the masonry repointed. The building will have space for storage, operator restrooms and retail space.
A number of new amenities for customers will be added, including a bus canopy, passenger shelters, benches, enhanced lighting, trash cans and signage. Bike racks will also be installed, as will new plumbing, heating and ventilation systems. An Art-in-Transit project is also planned.
SEPTA is making sustainability a key part of the new loop, which will feature a green roof. This helps improve the environment, and also helps alleviate storm-water problems by reducing run-off. There will also be a landscaped bio-retention basin on the 33rd Street side, which faces Fairmount Park.
Upon completion of the project, the loop will be fully accessible under the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). ADA-related improvements include raised-boarding areas and new curb cuts.
There will also be safety enhancements for customers, pedestrians and motorists using surrounding roads, such as a redesign of bus lanes to optimize traffic flow and a new curbside bus berthing area. The new facility will reduce the number of bus lanes to three, from the current four, to allow for wider lanes and enhanced boarding access for customers.
The loop will be closed for the duration of construction. Customers are being directed to nearby temporary stops to accommodate work.
SEPTA also has a special section online with details about the project.