SEPTA will vote on the fate of the 28 later this year.
Throughout the week, Manor College freshman Ahmed Toure begins his 90-minute journey to Manor from Southwest Philadelphia. He hops on the 36 Trolley to the Broad Street Line, then picks up the Route 28 SEPTA bus for the last leg of his journey.
Currently, the 28 bus drops Toure off at the front of campus. Next month, SEPTA plans to vote on a “bus revolution” that would reroute the 28 away from Manor College’s campus. The new 28 route would require a half-hour walk from campus to Township Line Road more than a mile away.
“It’s a bad idea to reroute the 28 because it doesn’t help people who live very far away and can’t afford to get a dorm room,” Toure said. “The 28 is the only direct route I have to school and if that is taken away, it’s going to make it infinitely harder for me to make it to school.”
Toure isn’t alone. Over the years, hundreds of Manor College students, faculty and alumni have taken the 28 bus to campus.
The majority of Manor College students who take the 28 catch the bus from Philadelphia. Lori Carriere, an Assistant Professor of English at Manor, takes the bus to campus from Jenkintown.
“When I was weighing job offers, being able to continue to live in Philadelphia and still being able to easily get to campus was definitely a plus,” Carriere said. “If the 28 bus didn’t exist, then I may have chosen to live in the suburbs, closer to campus.”
Toure said the 28 was among the reasons he chose Manor College.
“It made my life easier knowing I would have a direct route to school,” Toure said.
Manor College and the Route 28 bus have a long history together. Service was introduced along the route in January 1982. In to 2017 blog post highlighting different routes, SEPTA highlights Manor and the 28, saying, “The Route 28 passes right by Manor College in Jenkintown, making it a great travel option for employees and students of the school.”
Ronise Exil, a freshman studying Pre-Nursing, takes one of several buses to Olney before taking the 28 to school. She’s taken the 24 bus before, but says the route is less reliable.
“My first day of school, I sat and waited for the 24th,” Exil said. “Me and another student waited for almost an hour. That’s when the bus driver suggested the 28 and that was much easier.”
in a release earlier this yearSEPTA said the primary function of the 28 is to “provide crosstown service between the Broad Street Line at Fern Rock Transportation Center, the Fox Chase and Trenton Regional Rail LInes and neighborhoods and commercial corridors in Northeast Philadelphia.”
Dr. Jonathan Peri, President of Manor College, announced the institution’s opposition to the proposed route change, asking the agency to not make the change.
“Numerous students will face a transportation hardship,” Dr. Peri said. “Disparate impact will occur for students of color, first-generation students, immigrant students and students with already existing financial insecurities. More than 80 percent of Manor College students work and 50-60% of all students are the first in their families to go to college.
“The SEPTA change will directly and substantially limit the people who are most underserved and underrepresented from the educational opportunity of their choice. That choice being at an institution that has already demonstrated itself to be the best in the region for intergenerational economic mobility.”
Carriere agreed, saying, “I think public transit is vital for all of us. “We collectively have to start seriously reducing our carbon footprint, which means we need to make public transit more available and convenient so people feel confident in reducing or eliminating driving.”
Rerouting the 28 away from Manor College creates unnecessary stress on hundreds of students who rely on the route.
“Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have the 28,” Exil said. “The 28 is reliable. There’s a lot of students that take it with me. It’s not hard to take at night. “I know I can stay at school, walk the two minutes to the bus stop, jump on and it’ll take me back home.”
Manor College has created an online petition asking SEPTA not to reroute the 28. To sign the online petition, click here.
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