Responding to opposition from North Philadelphia community activists, SEPTA officials announced Wednesday that they would stop abbreviating the name Cecil B. Moore on the bus line that runs on the street named after the late civil rights leader.

Signs on Route 3 buses that serve Cecil B. Moore Avenue were changed in December from Cecil B. Moore Ave. to C.B. Moore Ave. The name was abbreviated, officials said, to make route signs more visible to riders.

After a morning meeting at SEPTA's Center City headquarters with about 13 community activists representing a group called the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, SEPTA officials said they would use the full name on the buses.

"We're changing it back to Cecil B. Moore," said Frances M. Jones, assistant general manager for SEPTA. The signs would read "33rd- Cecil B. Moore Ave."

The Route 3 bus runs from 33d Street to the Frankford Transportation Center at Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue. In a recent letter to SEPTA, Melvin Dorn, a leader of the Cecil B. Moore Freedom Fighters, said the abbreviated name was "disrespectful" to the legacy of Cecil B. Moore, the lawyer and activist who led protests against segregation at Girard College in the 1960s and other civil rights efforts in the city. Dorn said the abbreviation diminished "the full historical significance" of Moore's life.

After the meeting, Dorn said, "We're satisfied that they are going to change the name. ... We're satisfied that they promised to make the change. They are doing the right thing."

No disrespect was intended when the name was abbreviated, Jones said. The transit agency has not yet decided whether the name would be placed on one line or two, but, Jones said, the type size on the signs would be reduced to fit the full name.

She said that a mock-up of the new route sign would be developed in the next few weeks and that the new signs would be produced in the coming months.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or