SEPTA planning major changes to bus routes, but welcome public comment before finalizing plans

SEPTA riders are sounding off about the agency’s major re-vamping of bus routes, both in and outside of the city. SEPTA says the plan will enhance service, but not all passengers are on board.

"I was concerned about the 27 bus, because I visit friends and family up in the Roxborough area," South Philly resident Audrey Smalls said.

Neighbors Lucy Miller and Lee Pugh brought signs to a public meeting regarding the changes. They say bus 49 takes them to the grocery store and doctors appointments from Fairmount.

"Originally, they were talking about cutting it. They’re taking it into consideration, hearing feedback from a lot of people," Miller commented.

"It would stop three or four blocks away. I’m mobile right now, but someday I won’t be. I know a lot of people who would find that just impossible," Pugh added.

SEPTA’s Manager of Planning Programs says the goal is to make travel easier, more reliable and more convenient.

"This project is an attempt to reorganize the system. Make it more effective and really look at how we can move people through the city in the region more efficiently and more effectively," Dan Nemiroff, SEPTA’s Manager of Planning Programs, said.

Nemiroff says SEPTA ridership has been down since before the pandemic and the changes will, hopefully, increase those numbers.

"But, ridership has been there no matter what, right?" asked rider Judith Robinson.

Robinson says she doesn’t want anything to change on bus 33. "With all of the things we know that are bad going on in my neighborhood, one of the happy things that benefits me is their excellent transportation system. To take that away would really take away our lifeline."

SEPTA will have many more opportunities in the new year to collect feedback and make revisions.

"They’ve looked at maps, whether they’re online or in person and they are worried that we’ve already decided what we’re doing. That’s not the case," Nemiroff said. "We are really open to public feedback."

"North Philly has excellent transportation. Please do not mess it up," Robinson added.

All feedback is welcome. Those concerned about any proposed changes to SEPTA bus lines can find more information, here.