SEPTA Route 6

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Route 6
Olney Stn with PCC car (rear) - Philadelphia, 1984.jpg
The former SEPTA Route 6 trolley at Olney Transportation Center in 1984.
Overview
Operator Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
Garage Luzerne Depot
Began service 1907 or 1924
Route
Locale North Philadelphia to Willow Grove, Pennsylvania
Communities served Olney, West Oak Lane, Germantown, Ogontz, Cheltenham, Willow Grove
Start Olney Transportation Center
End Willow Grove Amusement Park
Cheltenham Loop

SEPTA's Route 6, also known as the Ogontz Avenue Line is a former streetcar line and current bus route, operated by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States.

Route description[edit]

Route 6 begins at the Olney Transportation Center, a core station of the Broad Street Line, principally traversing Ogontz Avenue in the City of Philadelphia, crossing the City Line at Cheltenham Avenue, and then proceeding on private right-of-way down the middle of Limekiln Pike before running as a streetcar line on Keswick Avenue in Glenside, and then mostly side-of-the-road private right-of-way until reaching Willow Grove Park. The line was fully double-tracked. Streetcar service to Willow Grove Park ended on June 8, 1958 when the Pennsylvania Highway Department (predecessor to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation) acquired portions of the private right-of-way on Limekiln Pike for construction of the soon to be built Pennsylvania Route 309 Expressway. PCC streetcars were assign to Route 6 beginning June 20, 1948. Route 6 was cut back to a loop and terminus at Ogontz & Cheltenham Avenues at the City Line. Starting on September 30, 1968, Route 6 streetcar service was transferred the new transit authority, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). On January 12, 1986 buses replaced service on Route 6.

History[edit]

As one of the newer trolleys to be adopted by SEPTA, the Route 6 trolley was established by the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT) in 1907(although some sources claim it was established in 1924) as the Glenside Line between the Willow Grove Depot and the City Line and Ogontz Avenue via Limekiln Pike. In 1929 the line was extended to Broad Street and Olney Avenue a year after the opening of the Olney Terminal on the Broad Street Line.

The Route 6 trolley during the late-1970s.
The Route 6 trolley used to run along Keswick Avenue, pictured here in Cheltenham. The location of where the tracks once were can still be seen where the road is repaired.

This was once a popular trolley line to Willow Grove Amusement Park (current location of the Willow Grove Park Mall). Buses replaced trolleys north of Cheltenham Avenue to Willow Grove on June 8, 1958 (PCC 2134 was the last trolley to Willow Grove). Bus service known as "6 Bus" (See below). The remaining trolley service operated south of Cheltenham & Ogontz Avenues Loop (Cheltenham Square Mall). Despite public criticism by community and transit advocates, SEPTA voted to close the Route 6 trolley line on October 23, 1985. Additionally, the plan involved the closing of the SEPTA Route 50 trolley line along Rising Sun Avenue, although Route 6 trolleys were allowed to remain in service a little longer.[1] Buses replaced the streetcars on the remaining portion of the Route 6 on January 11, 1986, and the Route "6 Bus" renamed Route 22 on the same date to eliminated confusion over the current Route 6.

Route 22, the former Route 6 Bus[edit]

Service on this bus route began on June 8, 1958 as the Route "6 Bus" replacing the truncated Route 6 trolley service to the Willow Grove Amusement Park. New Alternate service via Easton Road was added on September 3, 1961 replacing County Transit Company bus service. Route "6 Bus" was extended to Johnsville via Warminster on June 19, 1966 by merging with the Route 74 bus, another former trolley line. Service was rerouted into the new Willow Grove Park Mall on August 1, 1982. Route 6 was redesignated Route 22 on January 12, 1986 with the conversion of the Route "6 Streetcar" to bus operations. On September 7, 1997 service was streamlined to operate on the Easton Road and Old York Road routings between Glenside and Warminster. Service along Keswick Avenue and Edge Hill Road (original trolley route) was eliminated. The right of way of old Route 6 trolley is still visible along Edge Hill Road. A former Route 6 trolley car along this route can be found at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum in Washington, Pennsylvania.[2]

As of 2008, all buses along both routes are ADA-compliant, and contain bicycle racks. No plans are currently under way to restore the Route 6 line as light-rail service, nor are there such plans for the Route 22 line.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SEPTA DERAILS 2 TROLLEY LINES, by Frank Dougherty; Daily News Staff Writer (Philadelphia Daily News (PA) - Thursday, October 24, 1985)
  2. ^ John Mueller (July 19, 2007). PA Trolley Museum 071907 008 (photograph). Retrieved September 28, 2013. 
  3. ^ SEPTA Capital Budget Program and Comprehensive Plan (Page 71)

External links[edit]