Below you’ll find answers to our most commonly asked questions. If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please contact us.
About SEPTA’s Trolley Modernization Project
Trolley Modernization is a once in a generation opportunity to transform the nation’s largest trolley network, delivering benefits across the region. Trolley Modernization delivers equity, by improving transit access in communities of color; jobs, by catalyzing over 38,000 permanent jobs; improved air quality, by lowering pollution and keeping more cars off the road; and community, by linking more communities together.
Trolley Modernization is a complex, multi-year project that will be done in phases by route to limit disruptions to service. Work has already started to procure new trolleys, to be followed by facility improvements that will allow SEPTA to receive the new fleet of trolleys. Accessible stations will be constructed before the new fleet is in service along routes. As currently projected, route upgrades will begin with the tunnel and T surface routes, followed by the D line and then the G line.
SEPTA’s trolleys are reaching the end of their useful lifespan, and it is time to replace them with a new fleet that is fully accessible and adds capacity. Operational improvements will make it faster to get where you are going. This is an opportunity to modernize the entire system.
Trolley Modernization will focus on modernizing the existing system, not on new lines or restoration of service. However, we will review end-of-line extensions at certain points in the system to make it easier to connect to other modes of transit.
Funding for the Trolley Modernization project will potentially come from a wide variety of sources, including SEPTA’s capital budget and federal, state, and local grants.
Trolley Service and Operations
The project will be rolled out in phases to minimize disruption to lines; however, trolley services will be down at times while work is occurring. SEPTA will provide bus service as an alternative when routes are not in service. While there may be some changes during construction, the outcome of the project will make commutes faster, easier, and more accessible.
To make the system accessible, we need both accessible vehicles and stations. Today’s trolleys have internal steps and high floors. Some underground stations do not currently have elevators. New trolleys will not have steps to board, and stations will all be Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant with ramps and elevators as necessary.
Trolley Modernization includes the addition of elevators and near level platforms at stops, and vehicle ramps with a button to allow for boarding without operator assistance. Wheelchair users can also strap their wheelchairs in on the trolley autonomously and will not require operator assistance.
Many of the improvements are designed to speed the ride, including payment on the trolley to make boarding faster, traffic signals so trolleys have priority on the road, and fewer stops to make it faster to reach your destination.
Trolley Cars, Stations, and Stops
We are in the process of gathering public input to understand what attributes are most important and to incorporate those priorities into station design and construction. On-street stations will be more visible than current stations and will be fully accessible and ADA-compliant.
In order to create stations that are safer and more visible, and to meet the goal of a faster ride, stops will be consolidated based on a variety of factors, including usage and connections with other SEPTA services. Proposed end-of-line extensions will make it easier to connect to other modes of transit.