Room 404 City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
(215) 686-3416
Fax No. (215) 686-1934

January 27, 2005

Ms. Faye Moore
General Manager
1234 Market Street, 10th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Re: Route 35 Bus

Dear Ms. Moore:

I am writing to state my strong support for keeping the Route 35 bus that serves the Manayunk and Roxborough communities. I oppose the proposed elimination of the Route 35 bus and the proposed changes to the Route 61 bus.

First, I want you to know that my office received absolutely no notice from SEPTA about the public hearing you held on January 19, 2005 regarding this proposed route change. I do not understand how SEPTA can arrange for a public hearing on the proposed elimination of a bus route in my district -- especially when it involves a bus route that you and I have discussed repeatedly over the years -- without ever discussing it with me or even having the courtesy to inform me of the public hearing. Secondly, what public notice was provided to the riders of this route and the affected neighborhoods? It is my understanding that most people found out about the meeting through the efforts of neighborhood organizations, and not through any notices provided by SEPTA. I fail to understand how such limited information is provided for such a significant change in transit service. Furthermore, I do not understand how you can make any decisions based on the sparse testimony you received due to this lack of notice.

Second, it is my understanding that SEPTA is required to undertake marketing strategies and promotional efforts to increase ridership before a route can be cut. Please provide with me a detailed written explanation of the marketing plan for this route. And, please provide me with copies of all promotional materials.

I am enclosing for your review the position of the Manayunk Neighborhood Council which succinctly states all of the reasons this route should be continued and why the proposed Route 61 changes are not responsive to the ridership needs and will only result in fewer riders. Over the years, time and again, I have seen SEPTA essentially kill a transit service line with schedule and route changes. Your supposed efforts of "saving" a line by reducing operating costs, almost always results in even fewer riders. The cycle then repeats itself and eventually you discontinue the route. This time, rather than reducing operating costs (i.e. shortening routes, reducing hours and increasing headways), I challenge SEPTA to actively get more riders and increase the tare box revenues.

You are in the business to provide public transit, to attract riders, and help alleviate roadway congestion. No other neighborhood that I represent is as congested with autos as is Manayunk. The opportunity for SEPTA to attract new ridership is tremendous in this neighborhood and could over the long-term help alleviate the problem of too many cars and insufficient on-street parking. The topography of this neighborhood is challenging for drivers - - especially for older drivers and when the weather is bad. Many people would much prefer to use public transit if it provided a real option that met their needs.

However, the constant changes to the Route 35 bus over the years combined with a schedule that provides limited evening hours is totally non-responsive to the needs of current and prospective riders. Moreover, the constant threat of discontinuation of the Route 35 discourages potential new riders and encourages current riders to find alternatives. Once again, SEPTA has opted for a cost-saving strategy rather than an investment strategy that helps grow the ridership and increase revenues,

Thank you for the opportunity to present my concerns and perspective. Please respond to my requests as promptly as possible.


Michael A. Nutter
Councilman - 4th District


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