This weekend, Philly will debut its first express bus line.
SEPTA announced Tuesday that its new Direct Bus line will take off for the first time on Saturday, October 22 along Roosevelt Boulevard, largely considered one of the most dangerous roadways in Philly and the nation.
The new route includes 10 new bus stations and eight stops up and down the boulevard between Neshaminy Mall in Bucks County to Frankford Transportation Center. It will run more frequently—every 10 minutes during peak travel times—but make fewer stops along the way, thus cutting the average commute time from 47 to 30 minutes.
Although some 10,000 people take the current route 14 bus up and down Roosevelt Boulevard each day, one sole bus sign served as the station at each location. Those have been replaced with two actual bus stops per intersection (one for each way), with ADA features, improved signage, and landscaping.
The actual buses, too, have been upgraded. There are a total of 60 diesel-electric hybrid vehicles in the Direct Bus fleet, and they’re all bigger to accommodate more riders.
The Direct Bus line has long been a high-priority project for SEPTA and the city’s Vision Zero plan to make its streets safer. With the launch of the Direct Bus on Saturday, the next plan is to repair and resurface 12 miles of the 15-mile-long boulevard, between 9th Street and the Bucks County line.
Meanwhile, SEPTA says it will be exploring where else in Philly to expand its Direct Bus service.