SEPTA's historic Girard Avenue trolleys coming off the rails

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- SEPTA's historic Girard Avenue trolleys are coming off the rails for 12-18 months for repairs.

It's a 1940s style ride that carries about 8,000 people per day up and down Girard Avenue, beloved by many people in Philadelphia.

Saturday will be the last day, for about a year and a half, riders will see the Route 15 trolleys in operation. SEPTA is taking the fleet out of commission during construction projects on the route.

"Instead of starting it and stopping it, rail service that is, we decided to just bus the entire line and take this opportunity to rehabilitate the cars," said Scott Sauer, the assistant general manager of operations for SEPTA.

During that time, normal buses will take over the tracks, which is getting mixed reaction from frequent riders.

"I prefer the bus because it's easier to get on, it can be lowered, whereas the trolley cannot be lowered. The trolley is a very high step," said Renee Mathis, who says she takes the trolley every day.

"I don't think it's as fun. You know, catching the trolley was something fun, it was exciting," said Richard Vogel of North Philadelphia.

SEPTA says not much is really changing with the replacement buses. Stops and wait times should be the same and will still wait on the islands in the middle of Girard Avenue.

SEPTA says the goal of this work is to extend the life of the vehicles, and improve their reliability once they are placed back into service.
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