Manayunk Neighborhood Council
We lost. Septa management partnered with Ridge Park Civic to change the route. It was returned to the old local loop in Januray 2007, 1967/2006 Proposed below. That's it. No more connection to Wissahickon Transit Center or Ridge Avenue to Andorra.
January 20, 2005
SAVE THE ROUTE 35
Route 35 has gone through many routing changes during the past few years. The current route is excellent for the community. It goes from destination to destination, Wissahickon Transfer Center to Andorra, through the neighborhood to reach the most residents.
SEPTA reports that since the current changes began, the operating ratio (revenue vs. expenses) improved only slightly. The fact that ridership increased even slightly shows the great potential of this route.
During the last couple years major streets in Manayunk were closed, sending the bus on a variety of detours. Construction on Silverwood at Green Lane, Leverington, and Fountain blocked sections of the route for months at a time. Fountain Street below Silverwood was closed for over six months.
Despite detours and the lack or advertising, ridership doubled on the current route. Costs also doubled, but if ridership can increase under these conditions, it will improve further with a consistent route. Effective marketing will result in a very productive route.
Residents of Silverwood near Fountain oppose the bus on Silverwood. Their complaints include noise and increased traffic congestion.
During three morning hours, November 25, 2002, on Sliverwood St. near Fountain, 200 vehicles were counted, 5 were SEPTA buses. Nine vehicles registered over 90 db. on a sound meter, 4 cars, 2 trucks, and 2 buses. Twenty-one vehicles registered from 80 db. to 89 db., 11 cars, 8 trucks, and 2 buses. SEPTA's 30-foot buses are too loud. This is true whether the bus runs up a hill or on a level street. We raised this concern with SEPTA several times in the past. The solution is to fix the buses, not move the bus to another street or cut the route.
Like many streets in Manayunk, Silverwood between Fountain and Leverington is a two-way street with one lane of traffic. Cars park on both sides of the street. The only chances to pass are the gaps provided by cross streets and open parking spaces. This is true for all vehicles, not just SEPTA buses. There are standoffs between vehicles, but they are not limited to the bus. Most of these incidents are between cars and are quickly resolved. SEPTA buses are less than 4% of the total traffic on Silverwood Street and are part of the congestion solution, not part of the problem. Making buses part of shell game based on the most complaints is not a valid transit policy.
The proposed changes are clearly designed by and for accountants. Operating Ratios, Vehicle Hours and Passenger Counts are tools to evaluate a route but they are only part of the picture. Of the 80 city buses, only three cost less to run than the Route 35. The Route 35 makes up only 1/350th of the cost for the City Transit Division.
SEPTA also proposes to convert the Route 61 Express to the Route 62. The 61 Express only shares the stretch along Main Street with the Route 61. With only peak service and expressway routing, the Route 62 will perform below service levels, even with full buses. By SEPTA's standards, this service would be canceled. SEPTA admitted this flaw and indicated that the Route 62 accounting will remain with the Route 61 to keep the operating ratio above minimum service levels. This serves to highlight SEPTA's maneuvering.
Since SEPTA plans to replace the Route 35 with the Route 61, perhaps, we can renumber the Route 35 to the Route 61 Local. If Route 35 numbers are combined with Routes 61 and 62, the route will remain above the minimum service standards.
Cutting the Route 35 will afford SEPTA no fiscal recovery. It will hurt transit by reducing service, deterring riders, and causing a continued downward spiral in transit service in Roxborough and Manayunk. There are over 40,000 residents in Manayunk and Roxborough. It is a dense area with thousands of potential riders. The Route 35 is essential for Manayunk and a vital component of SEPTA's City Transit Division.