SEPTA Route 29
SEPTA Route 29 is a former streetcar and trolley bus (trackless trolley in local terminology) line and current bus route, operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. The line runs between the Gray's Ferry neighborhood and the vicinity of Pier 70 along the Delaware River. Route 29 was a streetcar line until 1950 and a trolley bus line until 2003.
Unlike the nearby SEPTA Route 79, Route 29 runs primarily along one-way streets. Eastbound buses run primarily along Morris Street, while westbound buses run primarily along Tasker Street. The west end of the Tasker Street segment turns north at 33rd Street, then east at Dickinson Street, then south at 32nd Street before heading east to Morris Street. Recent redevelopment of the Gray's Ferry area has disrupted this pattern.
At 25th Street, a viaduct above the two streets is for a former Pennsylvania Railroad rail spur designed to serve neighborhood industries. Major intersections along this line include 22nd Street, and Broad Street and connect to Tasker-Morris Station on the Broad Street Subway Line. The next major crossings are at 12th and 11th Streets which carry the southbound and northbound segments of SEPTA Route 23. Route 23 was also a former streetcar line that was downgraded to a bus route in 1992. This line spanned from South Philadelphia to Chestnut Hill in Northwest Philadelphia. Passyunk Avenue runs southwest to northeast in between these two intersections.
The one location where the eastbound and westbound buses share a street is on Tasker Street between Front Street and Columbus Boulevard. Eastbound buses turn south on Front Street along I-95, and then east towards Pier 70, at a shopping center called Snyder Plaza, where it turns back north to Tasker Street and heads west again. Connections at Pier 70 include 7, 25, 64, and 79. All buses are ADA-compliant, and contain bicycle racks.
End of trolley bus service
Along with SEPTA Routes 59, 66, 75, and 79, the Route 29 trolley bus was downgraded to a diesel bus route in 2003. Trolley buses were used in service on Route 29 for the last time in mid-February 2003, on an unrecorded date between February 15 and February 22. A temporary route change, necessitated by major construction in the area, which detoured the service onto streets not equipped with overhead trolley wires, took effect on February 23, requiring diesel buses to take over all Route 29 service for an initially indefinite period. However, because of heavy snowfall and other factors the week before the route change, the actual last use of trolley buses on this route may have been as early as the 15th.
Trolley bus service on Routes 59, 66 and 75 was restored in 2008. A proposal to restore trolleybus service along Route 29 (along with 79) was considered by SEPTA in 2006, after the authority had placed an order for 38 new trolley buses for (only) Routes 59, 66 and 75. However, in October 2006 the authority's board voted against any further consideration of purchasing new trolley buses to allow Routes 29 or 79 to be restored, a decision that effectively eliminated the possibility that trolley bus service might return to route 29 (or 79).
- Trolleybus Magazine No. 249 (May–June 2003), p. 70. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
- Trolleybus Magazine No. 271 (January–February 2007), p. 23. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.