SEPTA Releases Bus Network Choices Report

June 21, 2018

SEPTA released a report providing insight on potential opportunities to revitalize Philadelphia's bus network and help shape city transit priorities for years to come. While the report does not specifically reference sustainability, improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of SEPTA's bus service supports SEPTA's sustainability program in several ways.

First, laying the groundwork for a faster, more efficient bus system would increase ridership and bolster SEPTA's associated sustainability goals. In general, increasing Philadelphia's public transit ridership is central to reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. On average, commuters who choose transit over driving cut their personal transportation emissions by 70%. A full bus is more sustainable than an empty bus, and declining ridership not only potentially increases overall transport emissions but also makes it more difficult for SEPTA to meet its sustainability goals. While buses are SEPTA's most widely used mode of transport, bus ridership levels have been declining over the past few years. This blueprint report incorporates recommendations such as increasing service frequency during the day in order to provide more consistent service and shorter wait times - all of which may help attract riders to use SEPTA more often.

Another element of the bus network choices report focuses on opportunities to eliminate unnecessary duplication in SEPTA's system so that overlapping bus routes can be deployed to other areas that need robust service. In terms of social sustainability, imagining a more efficient bus network would not only help increase ridership but would also better serve more people-particularly those who rely on public transit to get to work, school, or recreational activities. Better transit accessibility can in turn fuel equity benefits across southeastern Pennsylvania.

You can view the report here: