Trolley Modernization Current Studies
Blossom at Bartram! Complete Streets Project
SEPTA, in partnership with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and the City of Philadelphia, is taking a holistic look at all modes and users on Grays Ave, Lindbergh Blvd, 49th Street, and streets connecting to the Schuylkill River Corridor to improve safety, public health, and livability. Our focus is roadway safety and access to economic opportunity.
This corridor has been identified by the City of Philadelphia as part of its High Injury Network, with three people killed and one seriously injured between 2014 and 2018. This corridor—located along Grays Avenue and Lindbergh Boulevard—is also home to a segment of the Route 36 trolley.
SEPTA wants Trolley Modernization to be more useful to more people. Learn more about the project and provide your input!
This critical corridor connects residential areas and a potential health sciences hub to major nearby employment centers in University City and Center City. However, the roadway safety issues make it difficult for residents to access these opportunities, and ridership at trolley stops along this portion of the Route 36 are low. High-speed vehicle traffic caused by a poorly defined right-of-way and limited speed controls makes safely boarding and exiting the Route 36 trolley difficult, and significant issues with short dumping, abandoned vehicles, tractor trailer storage, and auto-body shop overflow leads to unsafe and blocked pedestrian and bicycle facilities.
Last year, SEPTA was awarded funding from the Federal Transportation Administration’s (FTA) HOPE Grant program to support transportation improvement projects in areas of persistent poverty that enable economic opportunity. SEPTA’s HOPE Grant study period is scheduled to be completed by summer 2022.
What are we studying and why?
The study scope includes not only elements of SEPTA’s Trolley Modernization Program, specifically ADA compliant on-street stations for the Route 36, but a holistic look at all modes and users, particularly people walking and biking, on the corridor with a specific focus on roadway safety and access to economic opportunity.
Designing Modern Trolley Stations
Trolley Modernization is more than new vehicles: it’s the total transformation of three of SEPTA’s six Metro lines. That’s why we’re designing and building new on-street stations and improving underground and SEPTA off-street stations.
SEPTA’s new trolley fleet will be fully accessible, featuring low floors and ramps with multi-door boarding. However, our current trolley stops and stations are unable to serve these new vehicles.
To modernize the system and make it entirely accessible, each stop must have near-level platforms that serve all doors on the new, longer, higher capacity Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant vehicles. This requires constructing new stations where none exist on-street, and new platforms and amenities like higher platforms, ramps and elevators at existing stations.
Along with SEPTA’s Metro Project, this project is much more than ADA compliance: it’s the opportunity to remake service operations and raise the visibility of three of SEPTA’s six Metro Lines: the T, D, and G Line services. Stops and stations are the first things riders interact with when they ride SEPTA trolleys—yet they often lack amenities or any signifier that they’re part of a larger network, the Metro system. This is our chance to fix that.
That’s why we’re creating the Trolley Station Design Manual to ensure that every trolley station offers riders a consistent, high-quality experience. This is our opportunity to improve public space, enlarge the pedestrian zone, and make public transit more attractive and conspicuous—all while making necessary improvements to our trolley network.