SEPTA has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to further expand Direct Bus service to Hunting Park Avenue, one of the most-heavily traveled bus corridors in the City of Philadelphia, members of the regional Congressional delegation announced.
Funding from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program will allow SEPTA to design and construct Phase B of its Boulevard Direct bus service and provide high-frequency, limited stop service between Frankford Transportation Center and Wissahickon Transportation Center.
The City of Philadelphia previously identified a combination of federal, state and local funds to design and construct new Direct Bus stations at six locations on Roosevelt Boulevard, including a direct connection to Hunting Park Station on the Broad Street Line. The Bus and Bus Facilities grant will enable Boulevard Direct Phase B service to connect to Wissahickon Transportation Center by funding site improvements and passenger amenities at locations on Hunting Park Avenue and Ridge Avenue.
“I congratulate SEPTA on receiving this funding award to fully realize Direct Bus connections from the Hunting Park Station on the Broad Street Line to Wissahickon Transportation Center in Northwest Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “In CONNECT: Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan, we’ve committed to transforming bus service in Philadelphia, and we are pleased with the tremendous success of the first phase of Direct Bus service along Roosevelt Boulevard.”
SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia introduced Boulevard Direct in October 2017 as an initial part of the federally funded Route for Change project, as well as SEPTA’s own network optimization plans. SEPTA is seeking to build on that success by extending Direct Bus service to the southern portion of Roosevelt Boulevard and along Hunting Park and Ridge Avenues.
“I am pleased that SEPTA received this grant to make necessary improvements and further develop Direct Bus service,” said U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. “The funding will allow SEPTA to construct new bus stations and connect high capacity transit centers, which will reduce travel times and increase service reliability. I was proud to advocate on behalf of SEPTA in their efforts to secure this grant and will continue to make transportation and economic development in Pennsylvania top priorities.”
“With millions of commuters and visitors using SEPTA each year, it is essential to make travel easier and more efficient,” said U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey. “The funds awarded by DoT to support SEPTA’s Boulevard Direct Phase B project will certainly help in these efforts. I was pleased to support SEPTA’s application and look forward to following the progress of this important project.”
“Reliable and efficient transportation is the foundation of strong communities, and SEPTA’s Boulevard Direct Phase B project will improve mobility and access to opportunity for thousands of SEPTA riders,” U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans said. “I was proud to help lead the bipartisan effort to pass Act 89 as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and I continue to support robust transit investment in Congress.”
“Funding through this grant program will allow SEPTA to upgrade infrastructure and passenger amenities to support high-frequency bus service”, said U.S. Rep. Brendan F. Boyle. “The end game here is a win ultimately for transit passengers in the City of Philadelphia who navigate along this regions’ most heavily travelled corridors.”
Each stop on the route extension will feature ADA compliant ramps and curbs, and upgraded passenger amenities including new plazas, landscaping, bus shelters, benches, lighting, and real-time information.
In its first two years, existing Boulevard Direct Service (Phase A) from Frankford Transportation Center to the Neshaminy Mall has reduced travel times and generated a five percent net increase in ridership on the corridor. SEPTA expects similar results when Phase B is implemented by the end of 2022.
“We are grateful to the members of our Congressional delegation for their support of SEPTA’s application, and their efforts to fund transit projects that improve mobility in our region,” SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel said. “Boulevard Direct Phase B will reduce travel times and increase service reliability between two vital transportation centers, and we look forward to working with the City to launch this valuable service for our customers.”
For more information about SEPTA, please visit www.septa.org.