SEPTA’s Bus Revolution will bring significant changes to the Germantown routes in light of ridership challenges and community feedback.

The 23 bus, one of 11 unaffected services, riding past Germantown Avenue and High Street. (GIH | Rasheed Ajamu)

In 2021, the SEPTA Bus Revolution, Philadelphia’s first substantial bus network redesign, was introduced to address issues around ridership and reliability. SEPTA reported that it considered a redesign in the mid-2010s due to a nearly 20% ridership decrease with a 10% operating cost increase. Ridership plummeted during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, though has rebounded to about 75% of their pre-pandemic numbers. SEPTA launched this strategic plan to grow ridership even more.

Community engagement was essential for this redesign, as there were 212 different events and opportunities for the public to lend sentiments to the redesign. The SEPTA Bus Revolution website also had a contact form where city residents could lend sentiments and ask questions. After a few phases of feedback, re-drafting, and more feedback, SEPTA has officially released its recommendations for service changes throughout the city.

If adopted by the board, residents can expect service changes from Fall 2024 until full implementation. Here are the service recommendations involving Germantown that residents should know.

Existing routes

Route 23

There are no recommendations for the 23 bus service. It will continue to run between the Chestnut Hill Loop and 10th/11th Streets and Market Street. It is one of 16 services that will not be affected.

Route 75

Though the 75 only hits the Germantown border at Wayne Junction (Windrim Avenue and Wayne Avenue), it is still a service extending to the neighborhood. It will continue to run between the junction and Arrott Transportation Center.

Route 18

The 18 bus route currently runs between Cedarbrook Plaza in Montgomery County and the Fox Chase loop. However, if changes are made, the 18 would start its route from Cedarbrook Plaza, go down Wadsworth Avenue, and turn down Thouron Avenue to continue on its original route until it reaches Rising Sun Avenue and Tabor Road. From there, the service will head straight to the Frankford Transportation Center, its new start and end point.

Route 26

The 26 will adopt Some of the K’s service line while discontinuing a section of its service. If you’re heading Eastbound, the 26 bus will still start at the Chelten Avenue Station, located on Chelten Avenue between Pulaski Avenue and Morris Street. It will follow its usual route until it reaches Chew Avenue. From there, it will take on the K bus route, using 66th Avenue, 2nd Street, Godfrey Avenue, Front Street, and Champlost Avenue, until it reaches Adams Avenue and Tabor Road. The bus will continue on its original route until it comes to the Frankford Transportation Center.

Route 53

The 53 will now begin at Emlen Street and Carpenter Lane, traveling down McCallum Street and Lincoln Drive until it hits Wayne Avenue, where it will continue its original route until Hunting Park and G Street, where it will end. The 53 will now run to the Richmond & Westmoreland Loop using Kensington Avenue, Castor Avenue, Glenwood Avenue, Butler Street, Aramingo Avenue, E Ontario Street, and Richmond Street.

Route 65

The 65 will keep its 69th Street Transportation Ctr starting and ending destination. The Germantown and Chelten stop will now be the first of new stops added to the route to get riders to Fern Rock Transportation Ctr. The 65 will adopt some of the 26’s former route, taking Chelten Avenue, Chew Avenue, and Olney Avenue until it turns onto 11th Street to get to the Fern Rock depot. 

New routes

Route 41

The 41 will adopt the existing J bus route. The only difference is that the new route will start and end at Chelten Avenue and Pulaski Avenue instead of Chelten Avenue and Wissahickon Avenue. However, traveling to Richmond-Orthodox will still run through Wissahickon Avenue, School House Lane, and Pulaski Avenue.

Route 71

This new route would claim some of H’s service, starting at the Cheltenham & Ogontz Loop. It would run the same through Lincoln Drive, but instead of turning up Johnson Street onto Greene Street, it would run down Wayne Avenue, making its way to Wissahickon Transportation Center instead of Broad & Erie. Similar to the now-discontinued K route, after Wayne Avenue, the line would use Penn Street, King Street, Queen Lane, Fox Street, and Midvale Street. It would continue down Ridge Avenue to get to the Wissahickon depot.

Route 81

The 81 would adopt the entirety of the XH route, running from Cheltenham-Ogontz Loop to Broad Street & Erie Avenue.

Discontinued routes

Route J

The J bus service line is being discontinued. Check out the 41 route for a similar service line.

Route X & XH

The H & XH, which share similar routes with key differences, runs between Broad Street & Erie Avenue, Cheltenham Avenue, and Ogontz Avenue. Both lines will cease to exist, and new routes will adopt parts of other discontinued routes to continue connecting riders to different sections of the city. Check out the 71 & 81 for routes with similar service lines.

Route K

The K will be discontinued. Check out the 26 and 71 routes for service areas the K used to cover. 

Neighbors can visit to learn more about changes to service lines in the neighborhood and throughout the city and access additional analyses and recommendations.