Philadelphia officials, regional partners, and representatives from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) released a new plan for improving public transit in the city.
The “Philadelphia Transit Plan, A Vision for 2045” is a 192-page document that outlines the city’s mission of creating “a more equitable, safe, accessible, comfortable, affordable, and sustainable transit system,” including improvements to design, restructured fares, enhanced bus corridors, and a modernized trolley network.
“We cannot fully address the systemic racial disparities among the city’s residents, recover from the current economic crisis, and fight the climate crisis without investing in public transportation,” said Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. “The coronavirus pandemic and its economic challenges make transit planning more important than ever.”
The new plan sets out five goals and a range of strategies to ensure the city is connected by transit, which include:
- Transit for safety, reliability, and cleanliness
- Prioritize buses on our streets by adding bus lanes and other features to speed up service and eliminate delay.
- Enhance cleanliness and safety on transit vehicles and at transit stops or stations, building on progress made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Improve bus stop infrastructure, such as shelters and lighting.
- Transit for the environment
- Shift trips from driving to public transit, and make living without a car easier for Philadelphia residents.
- Adopt battery-electric buses as the technology allows.
- Shift toward clean energy to power our trains, buses, and trolleys.
- Transit for an equitable and just Philadelphia
- Reform the fare structure, including adding a low-income pass program and instituting fare capping.
- Expand frequent weekend service.
- Ensure an equitable approach to the SEPTA bus network redesign.
- Achieve full accessibility on the MFL, BSL, and trolley network.
- Transit for today’s challenges
- Implement the trolley modernization and bus priority network.
- Partner with SEPTA on its bus network redesign to ensure the network better addresses the needs of the city’s diverse residents.
- Support post-pandemic economic recovery with transit investments.
- Ensure every step of the transit riding process is built around the user’s needs.
- Transit for the future
- Reimagine our Regional Rail system as a frequent, metro-style service that is integrated with the entire transit network.
- Work with regional partners to establish a stable source of transit funding.
- Expand a high capacity transit network to respond to changing needs of the city and region.
- Coordinate land-use planning and transit investment to ensure they both support one another.
The Philadelphia Transit Plan is the result of 17 months of work and was created in close collaboration between the City of Philadelphia and its partners at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), New Jersey Transit (NJ Transit), and the Port Authority Transit Corporation Speedline (PATCO). The City of Philadelphia Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) led the development of this plan.