On October 17, the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA unveiled a new bus line along Roosevelt Boulevard. The new Boulevard Direct line will improve service along the busy 12 lane highway, and add an express option to Route 14 starting Sunday, October 22nd. It will be the first route operating under the new SEPTA “Direct Bus” brand, which SEPTA plans to expand to other dangerous and underserved areas.
A Billy Penn article from last February calls Roosevelt Boulevard Philly’s most dangerous road, and in the article, Andrew Stober, former chief of staff for the mayor’s office of transportation and utilities says, “It’s a road that doesn’t work for anybody.”
Mike DiBerardinis, Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia, claims rider safety is the focus of Boulevard Direct. “We are all encouraged to see change happening on the Boulevard, where transit riders waiting for the bus are more visible,”DiBerardinis said.
The new bus line aims to increase travel time by 30 percent. That means a 47 minute trip becomes 34 minutes. Buses will run every 10-15 minutes during the week, and 15 minutes on the weekend. This will save time for commuters who already take the bus, and provide options for new commuters to leave their car at home a few times a week.
Most of the current stops have no shelter, and require riders to stand at the edge of six lanes of heavy traffic. At the event, Mayor Kenney highlighted the new direct bus stops that are equipped with protected bus shelters, benches, ADA ramps and way-finder signage of the direct bus route. According to Mayor Kenney, these stops will create secure spaces for riders along this dangerous corridor.