Philadelphia Plans for a Transit Revolution

Three coordinated, ambitious, simultaneous planning initiatives are underway at SEPTA, the regional transportation authority for Greater Philadelphia.

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September 1, 2022, 7:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Philadelphia SEPTA Station

Tupungato / Shutterstock

As reported in an article for TransitCenter, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is underway with a number of large-scale transit planning projects with the potential to reinvent transit in and around the city.

Three planning initiatives are pushing forward the vision put forth in the SEPTA Forward strategic plan—Reimagining Regional Rail, the Bus Revolution, and the Trolley Modernization project.

According to Ryan Judge, director of strategic planning at SEPTA, the three plans are designed to work in concert. “SEPTA’s COVID-19 recovery planning process, undertaken in the summer of 2020, produced the conclusion that the agency would need to continue to provide transit service as the core of the region’s mobility systems, and ensure that the various transit modes in the system functioned as a cohesive, integrated system,” according to the article.

As detailed in the article, Reimagining Regional Rail has the potential to transform the region’s commuter rail system with frequencies and fares more commonly found on subway systems. Bus Revolution will enact SEPTA’s first-ever systemwide bus network redesign, focusing service into a much more scrutable high frequency grid, similar to work done in recent years in Houston and Miami.

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