PHILADELPHIA — Nearing its one year service anniversary, the City and SEPTA announced today that ridership on the Boulevard Direct bus is steady and growing. Ridership has increased by 13 percent since the service began in November 2017. The route has seen the highest daily ridership at the Welsh Road station, followed closely by the stations at Cottman Avenue and Red Lion Road.
SEPTA reports that transit travel time along this route has improved considerably with the introduction of Boulevard Direct. Combining southbound and northbound travel times, on average, Direct Bus’ peak hour travel time is 20 percent less, midday travel is almost 30 percent less, and evening travel time is 35 percent less when compared to the local Route 14.
Over the past year, SEPTA also analyzed the stop spacing along the route to provide more options for riders. Together, SEPTA and the City are pleased to announce the addition of a new stop at the intersection of Southampton Road and Roosevelt Boulevard, which will close the stop spacing gap between Red Lion Road and the Neshaminy Interplex. SEPTA anticipates adding the stop at Southampton Road in February 2019.
The launch of Boulevard Direct service comes as SEPTA is conducting its first comprehensive review of the entire bus network. As part of this process, SEPTA continues to look for opportunities to add similar Direct Bus service to other parts of the city and region. The next location to see Direct Bus will be along the southern end of Roosevelt Boulevard, making a new transit connection between Frankford Transportation Center and Wissahickon Transportation Center.
“The City thanks PennDOT and DVRPC for awarding close to $2M in two competitive grant programs to assist in the construction of eight new Direct Bus Stations along the lower half of Roosevelt Boulevard in order to facilitate more efficient connections between the Market Frankford Line and the Broad Street subway in Northeast Philadelphia,” said Michael Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for the Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability. “The quickest, most cost effective, and most equitable way to improve transit in Philadelphia is to take steps to improve the efficiency, affordability, and connectivity of bus service.”
“In just one year, this new service – with its improved efficiency and simplified schedule – is a win-win for everybody,” said SEPTA’s general manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “It has attracted new riders, and has reduced travel time for many riders while helping with efforts to reduce congestion on Roosevelt Boulevard.”
One year ago today, SEPTA and the City announced the start of Boulevard Direct by unveiling ten new stations and providing details about the new bus service that started on October 22, 2017. Boulevard Direct operates to-and-from a total of eight stops, which allows for more frequent bus service and fewer stops than current Route 14 bus service that shares a route between Frankford Transportation Center and the Neshaminy Mall.
About CONNECT Week
CONNECT Week (October 15-19) celebrates the City’s newly launched Strategic Transportation Plan. Over the next seven years (2019-2025), CONNECT will set priorities for implementation and serve as the Administration’s transportation framework. CONNECT’s vision is a transportation system that benefits everyone. It is a system that is safe, affordable, accessible, and reliable at moving Philadelphians, visitors, and commerce so neighborhoods thrive, people are healthy, and the economy grows. To learn more, visit http://www.phillyotis.com/portfolio-item/connect-phl/.