SEPTA To Overhaul Montgomery County Bus District With State Act 89 Funds

SEPTA To Overhaul Montgomery County Bus District With State Act 89 Funds

Project Will Transform Frontier Bus District Facility in Plymouth Township; Incorporates Stormwater Management & Other Sustainability Enhancements

SEPTA’s “Rebuilding the System” capital improvement initiative is continuing with the overhaul of a major transit facility that is key to providing bus service in Montgomery, Bucks and Chester Counties. The project at the Frontier Bus District is moving forward thanks to Pennsylvania Act 89, which provides capital funding for transportation improvements throughout the Commonwealth.

The project will transform the Frontier District, allowing SEPTA to continue providing safe, reliable service to customers. It will also deliver benefits to the surrounding community with enhanced stormwater management and other sustainable design elements.

Pennsylvania Transportation Secretary Leslie Richards gathered with SEPTA and local officials today to tour the active construction site. Work on the $12 million capital improvement project started earlier this summer, and it is scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.

“This project illustrates the goal of ensuring that transportation assets complement and support community needs,” said Richards, a former Montgomery County Commissioner and SEPTA Board member. “PennDOT is very invested in sustainability and I applaud SEPTA for putting investments to use in innovative ways that will greatly benefit the people we serve.”

The Frontier District houses 99 buses that provide service to nearly 15,000 customers each weekday on 22 routes across the three counties.

“With this project, SEPTA will fully modernize the Frontier Bus District – improving service reliability for our customers and the communities we serve, and preserving this key facility for future generations,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “It also represents a big step forward for our Sustainability Program, with major upgrades in stormwater management and energy efficiency throughout the site.”

The stormwater management effort includes the addition of a system to collect and recycle rainwater, which will be reused to wash buses. The system, which will utilize two 30,000-gallon underground storage tanks, will reduce SEPTA’s potable water consumption by approximately one million gallons annually. The project will also include the installation of new drainage systems inside the facility and across the property, designed to decrease water runoff to local waterways, and help prevent erosion and flooding.

Other improvements that will be made to the Frontier District include:

  • New white roofing and concrete paving areas to reduce the “heat island” effect
  • Added roof insulation and new heating, cooling and ventilation systems will reduce energy use
  • Recycling millings from old asphalt paving
  • Re-grade, level, and repave the site
  • New drive-through snow-melting system to remove snow from the roof of the buses
  • The addition of green space and landscaping along with new fencing along the property entrance
  • The installation of energy efficient LED site lighting was completed this past summer

Since the passage of Act 89 in November 2013, SEPTA has embarked on long-needed improvements like the Frontier District project across the system to address a more than $5 billion state-of-good-repair backlog. Act 89 has allowed SEPTA to begin upgrading critical infrastructure, facilities and replace aging vehicles – all part of an effort to enhance service for current customers and preserve it for future generations.

These capital improvement efforts are all part of SEPTA’s “Rebuilding the System” initiative. For more information about SEPTA improvement projects, please visit

The Frontier District project also furthers SEPTA’s commitment to sustainability. Reducing stormwater runoff and potable water consumption are among the main goals of SEP-TAINABLE 2020,”, SEPTA’s award-winning, second-generation Sustainability Plan. The Sustainability Plan has implemented a triple-bottom-line approach – economic, social and environmental – to all of SEPTA’s efforts.

“As technological advances become cost competitive with traditional systems, SEPTA has pursued sustainable infrastructure improvements,” said SEPTA Director of Business Innovation, Erik Johanson. “With upgrades such as using harvested stormwater to wash buses, the Frontier District improvement project furthers SEPTA’s goal of promoting sustainable development throughout the system.”

For more information on SEPTA’s Sustainability Program, visit