C you later

That bus that you’ve been riding down Broad Street since you’ve been a kid?  Say goodbye to the C.

Starting Sunday, the C designation will end, replaced by the 4 and the 16.  Why?  According to SEPTA:

Ever looked at a Route C destination sign and wondered if it would take you as far as you wanted to travel or gotten on a bus that only went to 15th & Market when you wanted to go to Broad & Snyder? This is a major route serving a lot of people, but if any of these situations happened to you then you know why we’re making it two separate routes: 4 & 16.

The change was approved by the SEPTA board at its board meeting on December 15.  Click here to see how the schedules will compare.

The decision was panned by the Daily News in an editorial in December.

We believe that rebranding this route would cause major confusion and would not solve any issues whatsoever….

Rather than rebranding this route, steps should be taken to make it operate better and to eradicate the confusion. Here’s our idea to improve service:

All trips should operate from South Philadelphia to Cheltenham and Ogontz. You would institute a pattern and have every other bus operate to Cheltenham via Fern Rock along its current routing with a minor modification.

And one rider worried that it will continue to drive our City apart:

Stephanie Williams of Mt. Airy said the new routes would only serve to separate Philadelphians from one another.

“It’ll be very convenient for all the new Center City yuppies to not have to co-mingle with people who ride that bus from one end of the city to the other,” said Williams. “It’s in keeping with what’s going on – two cities in one.”

We’ll see in the weeks and months ahead if these predictions come true.

But for the nostalgic among us, it’s just another move to wipe away our transit history.  In the old days, I understand, all the trolleys were numbered and all the buses were lettered.  But as buses replaced trolleys, numbers replaced letters.  And today, we have just the G, H, J, K, L and R buses remaining.