Ask SEPTA: Finding a seat on the Nite Owl bus

Ask SEPTA: Double parkers blocking buses and more questions
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“The Market-Frankford train line shuts down after midnight during the week. Why is it only replaced with one shuttle bus for those passengers? Why isn’t there a double bus or two buses following each other on that line? Last night was the first and last time I ride that packed bus. It was awful. How can you have all those train cars go to one bus? Please explain your reasoning.”

When the Market Frankford Line was converted to bus for Nite Owl service, ridership checks determined that a standard size transit bus, with more frequent service (every fifteen minutes for the bus vs. every thirty minutes for the trains) was adequate.

Over time there have been changes in ridership and we have found that there are some trips, even with more frequent service, that warranted a larger vehicle. Sixty-foot articulated vehicles were provided on these trips to address this issue.

We will continue to monitor ridership to determine if more articulated vehicles on the line are required. Service on Friday and Saturday nights, where ridership is highest, is now provided by trains.

“I live along Richmond Street in Port Richmond. They recently re-paved the street, but have yet to replace the trolley tracks which are crucial for moving people around. When can we expect to see crews out, laying down tracks on Richmond Street?”

The existing SEPTA trolley facilities in the area will be renewed as part of PennDOT’s I-95 Reconstruction Project. Currently, PennDOT’s timetable to complete reconstruction of Richmond Street including the trolley tracks is the fall of 2017.

SEPTA will continue to run alternate bus service in the area until the completion of the Richmond Street reconstruction.

“Will the Quakertown stop open anytime in the foreseeable future? They’re pushing a revitalization project in downtown and I know a few people up here who would love to not drive 30 minutes to Lansdale.”

Although the SEPTA Bethlehem Branch has been inactive as a passenger rail service for over 30 years, planning studies have been conducted over the past five years to explore the viability of returning service to as far as Pennridge, Bucks County (south of Quakertown).

No decisions, however, have been made as to if, and when such service may return. Even if a decision were made by Montgomery and Bucks Counties to re-establish service, significant capital investments to the line would be necessary and certainly could not be opened in the foreseeable future.