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By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New Jersey Transit and SEPTA have each gotten federal grants to allow major bus projects to move forward.

NJT is getting more than $2½ million for the next step in creating dedicated bus lanes, new parking lots, and passenger facilities for high-speed bus service between the Deptford-Winslow Township areas and Center City Philadelphia. This project is aimed for completion in 2020.

The agency also gets more than $70 million for new buses, including those that will run on natural gas.

SEPTA, meanwhile, gets $5 million to improve the West Bus Terminal at the 69th Street Transportation Center.

“Approximately 16 million people use those facilities every year,” notes SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch. “That includes riders taking the Market-Frankford line, the Norristown High Speed line, and 15 bus routes also provide connections there.”

Busch says the improvements will focus on safety, security, lighting, pedestrian access, and vehicle flow.

The actual construction is some time off, says Busch, because receiving the grant means the contract bidding process can start. He expects there to be minimal inconvenience to commuters during construction.

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