While Ridership Plummets, Transit Fixes Are Slow to Materialize in Philadelphia

The list of challenges facing transit agencies like the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is long. The list of feasible projects that can deliver solutions is much shorter.

March 29, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

SEPTA Bus Transit

Tupungato / Shutterstock

"Bus riders continued bailing on SEPTA in 2018, bringing it to its worst ridership numbers in nearly 20 years," reports Jason Laughlin.

This is the fourth consecutive year that SEPTA has lost riders, according to data from the Federal Transit Administration. "The transit agency lost 14 million bus trips from 2017 to 2018, the data showed, an 8 percent decline," writes Laughlin.

Transit ridership is declining comes even as the population of the city is increasing.

The other angle of the story worth noting is the palpable pessimism about the prospects that the trends will change anytime soon, or that the system will be able to deliver improvements designed to win back riders..

"SEPTA has promised a bus network redesign to provide faster and more reliable service, but it will be years before it happens," reports Laughlin. SEPTA has also "been advised to eliminate transfer fees to boost ridership, but it will be another year before SEPTA decides its transfer fee policy," for another example.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in philly.com

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