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September 26, 2013

SEPTA celebrates completion of reconstructed bus loop

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) celebrated the completion of reconstruction of the 33rd and Dauphin Bus Loop.

The 33rd and Dauphin Bus Loop Improvement Project, a $4 million initiative funded by a competitive grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), resulted in a full makeover of the facility, which is a key part of SEPTA's city bus operations.

The loop has significant historic value to the community, and the reconstruction has kept this legacy in-tact. The new loop incorporates original brick and masonry that has been recycled, the cherubs that have long marked the facade, and repaired and repainted decorative cornice trim — features that have made this loop unique and a neighborhood cornerstone.

"This facility has long been a landmark for SEPTA and the community," said SEPTA GM Joseph M. Casey. "SEPTA is proud of the loop's transformation into a state-of-the-art transit hub that can serve as a centerpiece for neighborhood revitalization, while also providing customers with the modern amenities they deserve."

The reconstruction project was completed in just 12 months — several months ahead of schedule. It also came in under budget, and SEPTA has received permission from the FTA to use the remaining grant funds to renovate two additional bus loops. Those projects, at 23rd and Venango Streets and 35th Street and Allegheny Avenue, will begin next year.

The new 33rd and Dauphin facility has a number of stand-out features, including a "green roof" that utilizes plant modules and other materials. In addition to improving sustainability and helping create a more livable urban environment, the green roof reduces storm-water run-off, which helps prevent water from collecting at and around the loop. A new underground storm-water management system also enhances drainage.

The project has also made the facility fully accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), with improvements such as raised boarding areas and new curb cuts.

In addition, the reconstruction included safety enhancements for customers, pedestrians and motorists who use the roads surrounding the loop, such as the redesign of bus lanes to optimize traffic flow, and a new curbside bus berthing area. The new bus shed also utilizes three lanes, instead of four that were in place previously. This allowed for wider lanes to accommodate buses and enhance boarding access for customers.

Other amenities for customers include a new bus canopy, passenger shelters, benches, enhanced lighting, trash cans and signs. Bike racks have also been installed, as have new plumbing, heating and ventilation systems. The main building also includes space for a retail tenant.

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