Philadelphia Police will join their counterparts at SEPTA and the Philadelphia Parking Authority to focus on enforcing bus lane restrictions on dedicated routes on Chestnut Street, Market Street and JFK Boulevard.
SEPTA’s Andrew Bush said that before the COVID-19 pandemic, they had problems with cars blocking important arteries, and as more and more workers return to the city, the situation is on the rise again.
“We started to see an increase in this trend, which coincided with when ride-sharing services became more popular. Now you clearly have more delivery services and it’s not just that, it’s people not respecting the bus lanes,” he said.
The problem is particularly troubling because the lanes that are currently being blocked are used by the city’s most popular buses, Bush said.
“So for most of these routes, while ridership on most of our other modes of transport is around 55% of pre-Covid-19 levels on these bus routes, particularly the few or so up and down on these roads, there are 70% and even higher. passengers before COVID,” he said.
The aim is to eliminate congestion, especially in areas where it is difficult for buses to get around even temporarily parked cars.
It’s not a ticket-writing campaign, but more of an outreach effort, Bush said.
“What we’re hoping to do is raise awareness of people blocking lanes. You know it won’t work, “you’ll be fined for it.” And we think that will act as a deterrent. Just get people used to how they travel on these roads.”
“SEPTA’s success is Philadelphia’s success. Making buses faster and more reliable is a key goal for the administration as more people return to Center City for work or recreation,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.
Increased enforcement efforts will focus on Chestnut Street between 6th and 23rd Streets, Market Street between 6th and 20th Streets and JFK Boulevard between 15th and 19th Streets. The promotion will start on Monday, September 26.
This article first appeared on WHY.org.