Tidbit Tuesday | SEPTA Daily Ridership

On Tuesdays, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week, we looked at the most recent transit ridership data published by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) this spring. The graph below illustrates SEPTA’s daily average weekly ridership by mode. Buses, with over a hundred routes across Philadelphia, constitute the majority of transit mode share. The two subway routes — the Market-Frankford Line (MFL) and Broad Street Line (BSL) — account for one-third of total daily ridership.

Let’s take a look at routes and ridership spatially. The city’s trolley lines and some bus routes, such as Route 23 and Route 47, have very high ridership and are depicted with thicker lines in the third map. The two subway lines, which have an average daily ridership of 320,000, are similarly prominent. The Market-Frankford Line has the highest ridership per day of any route in the city, with almost ten times as many daily riders as Route 23 bus, which has the third highest ridership (after the Broad Street Line).  Not surprisingly, these high volume routes correspond spatially to the SEPTA routes that provide 24 hour service, shown in the middle below.

More SEPTA route statistics can be found here.

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SEPTA’s New Pilot Program Offers 24 Hour Weekend Service

SEPTA

Night owls rejoice! Starting at midnight on June 15th, SEPTA will be offering 24 hour service for late night riders of the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays. The pilot program, which has launched in response to Philadelphia’s increasing night-time activities and flourishing restaurant and night-life scene, will run through Labor Day Weekend.

Depending on how successful the pilot program is SEPTA may choose to extend late night service past the summer months.

Here are some of the main details:

SAFETY: Extra police officers will be present at all stations to ensure the safety of all passengers.

FARES & ENTRY: At major hubs and high ridership locations, riders can purchase fares at the entrance gate. At all other stations, riders will be able to go through the turnstiles and pay their fares to the train operator at the head of the train before entering. Exact change only, please!

FREQUENCY: Trains will run every 20 minutes between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

You can get more information, including tips and schedules here.

Join the SEPTA Citizen Advisory Committee

CAC-Poster-Feb2014

SEPTA is looking for Philadelphia residents to join its Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC)!

The CAC is a forum for regular SEPTA riders to work with the Authority to advocate for public transit.  SEPTA invites you to apply (by April 4th) to join the committee if you feel strongly about transit and are interested in representing other riders. To join, you should have the following qualifications:

  • Committed to collaborative engagement;
  • Proven track record of community volunteerism;
  • Familiar with Philadelphia neighborhoods and transit;
  • Able to commit to no less than 12 hours per month to the duties of the position, which include attending a monthly general meeting, a monthly subcommittee meeting, as well as a quarterly meeting with other City representatives;
  • Attend or host, in conjunction with SEPTA, local community meetings to discuss transit and transit related issues;
  • Have no outstanding back taxes.

To learn more and to apply, go to http://septa.org/partners/cac/membership-application.html. Applications can also be requested via the Philly 311 line. Submit applications by April 4, 2014.

Tidbit Tuesday | Which SEPTA Regional Rail Stations Have the Most Bicycles Parked at the Station?

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Last week we posted a graphic of the SEPTA Regional Rail Stations with the most bicycle parking (you can find it here), this week we are looking at those stations which have the most bicycles parked (we graphed the top 10).  In addition, we broke it down by those parked formally (to a bicycle rack or other infrastructure created for bicycle parking) and informally (to a tree, sign, rail, or other items that were not created for the purpose of bicycle parking).  SEPTA is currently examining all of the bicycle parking it currently offers at its stations.  In addition, SEPTA will be working on a bike to transit plan in 2014 which will put the data it is currently gathering to good use.

popular bicycle parking stations-01

Data courtesy of SEPTA.

Tidbit Tuesday | Which SEPTA Regional Rail stations have the most bicycle parking?

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week we are looking at which SEPTA Regional Rail stations have the most bicycle parking — check it out!  We will follow-up next week with a graphic about which stations have the most bicycles parked at them.

Bicycle Parking at SEPTA Stations 1-01

 

Data courtesy of SEPTA.

Tidbit Tuesday | Which mode do Philadelphia public transit users take to work?

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

Based on the 2011 American Community Survey, approximately 25% of working Philadelphians commute to work via public transportation.  Here in Philly we have a wide-range of public transportation options, and so we decided to take a look this week at which mode Philadelphia public transit users take to work.

mODEsHARE-01

At 71.6%, those who take the bus (including trolley bus) to work make up the largest portion of public transportation users.  Next are subway (Market Frankford Line and Broad Street Line) users at 16.1%.  Following are regional rail users at 10.7%.  Finally, trolley users bring up the rear at 1.6%.

Tidbit Tuesday — SEPTA Ridership Trends 1999-2012

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

SEPTA just released data showing that they are currently celebrating achieving an all-time high regional rail ridership for Fiscal Year 2013!  In order to help celebrate, we took a look at their Annual Reports and created a graphic illustrating how SEPTA’s ridership has increased from its 1999 ridership levels!  Regional Rail saw an increase of 36% and Trolley, Bus, and Subway ridership saw an increase of 28% between Fiscal Year 1999 and Fiscal Year 2012!

SEPTA RIDERSHIP-01

Note, all trips shown are linked passenger trips.

Want to see more graphics related to SEPTA’s ridership?  Check out the following posts:

Tidbit Tuesday — Exploring SEPTA Ridership, Part 4

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week is the fourth and last post of a one month exploration of SEPTA’s ridership for FY12  through infographics (you can find the first week’s here, second week’s here, and last week’s here).  This week we have have produced two graphs.

First, we graphed the SEPTA Subway Routes.  Is your subway route the highest used in the city?

Subway-01

Second, we graphed those SEPTA bus, regional rail, trolley, and subway routes with the top 10 highest ridership (regardless of mode).  Is your route one of the top 10 most popular routes in Philadelphia?

AllModes-01

 

Tidbit Tuesday — Exploring SEPTA Ridership, Part 3

Every Tuesday, the Mayor’s Office of Transportation & Utilities (MOTU) posts a map or graphic that tells a story about transportation or utilities in the City of Brotherly Love.

This week is the third post of a one month exploration of SEPTA’s ridership for FY12  through infographics (you can find the first week’s here and last week’s here).  This week we have graphed the SEPTA Regional Rail Routes  Is your regional rail route the highest used in the city?

regional rail-01

All data is courtesy of the SEPTA FY 2013 Annual Service Plan – http://www.septa.org/reports/pdf/asp13.pdf

Measuring the Impact of Public Transportation Access and Funding Decisions on Public Health

Public transportation operators must frequently make decisions on how to much service to run, where to run it, what amenities to offer, and how to set fares.  In a time of limited budgets, these decisions usually involve difficult trade-offs.  Alameda County, home to Oakland, California, has had transit service cuts and fare increases in recent years, so the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACPHD) wanted to study how these decisions impact public health.  ACPHD believes that documenting these impacts will encourage local leaders to give them serious consideration when setting budgets and developing service plans.

Over the past year, ACPHD partnered with several other agencies and non-profits to conduct surveys and focus groups asking local bus riders about their health circumstances, access to work, activities, and appointments, and the effects of service cuts and fare increases on their daily lives.  Beyond asking directly about access to health care, healthy foods, or recreation, ACPHD investigated other key factors that help a person stay healthy.  For example, after recent cuts to bus services, 28% of those interviewed reported a major increase in commute time of 30 minutes or more, and another 19% reported a similar lengthening of the time it takes to get to school.  Long commutes have been linked to increased stress and less time for sleep and exercise.  They can also limit the number of hours a person can work, reducing the ability to afford basic needs for maintaining good health.  For some riders, fare increases also meant less spending on food, social activities, and health care visits, all factors important for good health.

Many residents in Alameda County do not have access to a car, and prior studies had shown that lower-income people and people of color in their region rely heavily on bus services in particular.  These groups also face higher health burdens and live in areas with fewer health-promoting resources.  Philadelphia is similar to Alameda County in that over 35% of Philadelphia households do not have any vehicles available, and only half of workers travel to work by car, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.  Both of these measures indicate that our residents share many of the concerns about quality bus service as those examined by Alameda County.

However, SEPTA faces a $38 million deficit in the operating budget for the coming fiscal year, expected to grow to $160 million by 2018.  Additionally, an economic analysis of SEPTA published last month highlights just a $304 million capital budget available in 2013 for a capital needs backlog of $4.7 billion.  This illustrates the difficult decision-making context SEPTA must navigate to provide public mobility while maintaining affordable fares and constrained budgets.  Looking west at the Pittsburgh Port Authority, similar budget shortfalls required a 35% service cut in early 2011, scaled back to 15% only after an emergency fund transfer.  Another budget gap was looming in 2012, threatening to raise fares while eliminating 46 bus routes and ending most other service at 10 p.m.  While the cuts were later temporarily delayed with emergency funding, these actions would have seriously reduced the access to jobs, social connection, and affordability of basic needs that ACPHD identified as factors for maintaining public health.

The farmers’ market at the Frankford Transportation Center in Northeast Philadelphia will reopen for the 2013 season in just a few weeks. Image courtesy of septa.org

Still, SEPTA has managed to support some of the public health goals identified by the ACPHD such as protecting job access by operating overnight service on key bus routes that accommodate non-traditional hours.  It has also partnered with organizations to host farmers markets at major SEPTA hubs including the Olney and Frankford Transportation Centers, increasing access to fresh produce options that are accessible without a car.  An additional 38 farmers’ markets can be found at or near other SEPTA stations and routes.

The Food Trust, which organizes many of these markets, has additional information on Philadelphia farmer’s markets: http://thefoodtrust.org/farmers-markets

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