pjabowling wrote:I think the first step Septa should make in bus reform is the purchase/ lease of the lot at 8th and Market St.
This lot could become the new Center City Transit Terminal (CCTT). Many of the bus routes that clog traffic downtown could be rerouted there allowing faster transfers between routes.
Along the stretch between City Hall and Penn's Landing between there should be 1 or 2 new bus routes that just complete that loop on Market, Chestnut and Walnut Streets. Septa should offer this service for free, yes free. This would allow for all door boarding and keep the bus moving. For once we could use the articulated buses for something useful.
Add a building on the back end of the property and you could move the existing Greyhound terminal for easier connections. Add a few spots for NJ Transit and reduce the number of stops it makes on Market St.
With a free ride along Market St to the CCTT you can now eliminate some of the intermediate stops for the other routes along Market, Chestnut and Walnut Streets expressing those routes in/out of the center of town. If the bus doesn't have to stop at every corner the bus only lanes we once had make a lot more sense.
Close 8th and 9th street between Market and Chestnut to vehicle traffic except for buses and deliveries.
Build the missing paid area walkway from the MFL to the BSL Spur for free interchange.
From 8th and Market you could make transfers to the MFL,BSL Spur, Patco, NJ Transit, Regional Rail,most Center City bus routes and access the Fashion District Mall.
A few issues with this:
1. SEPTA cannot lease or purchase that plot. That site is currently zoned CMX-5 under the city's zoning code, which is the highest a property can receive. There is no way that the city would let SEPTA slap a bus terminal there. Someone already owns it (I believe Goldstein) who intends to develop the lot as momentum continues along east market, after they're done with their other projects. That site can support a supertall, and I think the plans the developers have for it include a building at least close to that sort of scale. The only reason nothing has been there since Gimble's is because the last projects proposed there were failed casino pitches.
3. A free bus route along Market from City hall makes no sense, both fiscally and functionally. We have the El. It works fine. Trains are always crowded. Why take any of that away with a free bus route (which would only stand to add more traffic congestion).
4. A new Greyhound terminal is already planned to be built as part of the 30th St. Station district plan. The station will house Megabus, Greyhound, Bolt, and any other bus companies that may sign on (including NJT).
5. The last time they closed a street for pedestrians and public transit only in this city it nearly killed Chestnut Street. We do NOT need that again.
I agree that there needs to be a free transfer between the El and Broad Street lines. Hell, throw in PATCO too.
That lot is going to be built on soon. It's the best spot in the city for a supertall, as it is right above the only place in the city where all three subway lines meet, it's just a few blocks from Market East and Reading Terminal, it's along a corridor that is being rapidly developed, and it's hyooooooge. It's only a matter of the current owners pouncing on the opportunity when the time is right (which should happen in two years, if they are to be believed).