More News:

December 11, 2023

SEPTA releases final draft of its bus system overhaul with recommendations for new routes

The transit authority's board votes on the plan, which features more frequent stops and on-demand zones, in January

Transportation SEPTA
septa-newplan121123.max-800x600.jpg Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

SEPTA has released its final draft of the Bus Revolution project, which would alter routes and add an on-demand service in Philly's suburbs.

UPDATE (12/15/23): SEPTA's board has delayed the vote on the Bus Revolution plan from Dec. 21 until January, saying that leaders needed more time to assess it.

After more than two years of public comments, SEPTA has released the final draft of its bus system redesign. 

The transit authority's Bus Revolution project aims to increase service reliability with more frequent buses and on-demand services, though the updated plan has 106 routes compared to the 125 available today. SEPTA’s board will vote on the plan Dec. 21; if approved, service changes will go into effect in the summer.

"While there are fewer routes in the recommended network, access to bus service is still very strong," SEPTA Manager of Planning Programs Dan Nemiroff said Monday. "In addition, that service will be coming more frequently, with over 40 frequent bus routes. One million more people will have access to a frequent route than with the current network."

SEPTA recommends increasing frequent bus routes, which are those that arrive at stops every 15 minutes or less, by 30% next year. The proposal also includes new and updated routes that SEPTA said would put 1.1 million Philadelphians within a 10-minute walk of a frequent bus route.

In September, 10 hearings were held and Bus Revolution planners updated their recommendations based on feedback. "The public outreach effort for this initiative has been unprecedented, and the feedback we received has been crucial in shaping the proposal that will now be considered by the SEPTA Board," SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards said in a statement.

The latest draft was released just days after SEPTA launched its redesigned website, which the authority hopes will help riders navigate Philly with a mobile-friendly interface.

New route comparisonSCREENSHOT/Septa Bus Revolution Network Comparison

A look at SEPTA's proposed route updates.

In SEPTA's six suburban zones, the authority plans to launch an on-demand bus service. The plan says the service would take riders anywhere they want to go within a zone and connect them with bus routes to take them farther. This service would replace infrequent and low-ridership bus routes in the area.

SEPTA began public outreach for the Bus Revolution project two years ago and has held town halls, open houses, virtual meetings and pop-up events to elicit feedback. The authority said it hosted 144 in-person hearings prior to the 10 hearings in September.

The Bus Revolution proposal is just one of a number of changes taking place at SEPTA. In addition to the new website, the transit authority announced plans for new signage. And, as of Jan. 1, SEPTA will no longer accept fare tokens