SEPTA gets grant to help next phase of boulevard direct service

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SEPTA has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to move forward with expanding direct bus services to Hunting Park Avenue. 

The funding came from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.

 It will let SEPTA design and build Phase B of its Boulevard Direct bus service. It will also provide high-frequency, limited-stop service between Wissahickon Transportation Center and Frankford Transportation Center. The expansion of service will be along the southern portion of Roosevelt Boulevard and along Hunting Park and Ridge avenues. 

Mayor Kenney said in a press release that, “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.” 

Kenney added, “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.”

The original project started in October 2017 as part of the Route for Change project. It was also part of SEPTA’s network optimization plans. The previous funding allowed for the new Direct Bus stations at six locations on Roosevelt Boulevard, including a direct connection to Hunting Park Station on the Broad Street Line. 

Within the first two years, Boulevard Direct Service (Phase A) from Frankford Transportation Center to the Neshaminy Mall reduced travel times and increased the ridership. SEPTA hopes for similar results. Phase B should be in place by the end of 2022. 

Additionally, each stop on the route will be ADA compliant with regard to curbs and ramps. It will also have new amenities such as landscaping, benches, lighting, real-time information, new plazas and bus shelters.

SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel said in a press release that, “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.”

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