Like many SEPTA riders, Cathy Thornton is a creature of habit. So the replacement of the Route C bus with the routes 4 and 16 will require her to make a mental shift.
“For me, it’s going to take some getting used to,” said the West Oak Lane resident, who rides the line a few times a week.
The transit system made the name change yesterday — coinciding with new schedules for some city and suburban transit services — to alleviate confusion caused by the two distinct routes sharing the same route. The Route 4 will operate between Fern Rock Transportation Center and AT&T Station, while the Route 16 will run from the Cheltenham and Ogontz Loop to City Hall.
Service levels will remain the same on the line, which is SEPTA’s 10th busiest route with an average of 15,000 passengers on a weekday.
The agency said it has distributed thousands of fliers to prepare riders for the change, and yesterday it unveiled new bus stop signs.
“We think we’ve done a pretty good job getting the word out,” SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said. “We do plan to have supervisors out on the route checking on things, at least through the transition period next week.”
Riders who transfer from one route to the other will be able to do for free, Busch said.
The reaction from passengers about the change has been mixed, but most are taking it in stride.
“It’s just like Broad and Columbia. People are going to call it whatever they’re used to,” rider Pam Peterson said, referring to old terminology for a stop now known as Cecil B. Moore on the Broad Street Subway.