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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis August 10, 2012
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APTA Recognizes SEPTA for Sustainability Accomplishments

Philadelphia’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority recently became the fourth public transportation agency honored by APTA for achieving the Gold Recognition Level of the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. The other agencies at this level are TransLink, Vancouver, BC; Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA; and Sound Transit, Seattle, WA.

Public transit agencies and businesses that participate in this program on a voluntary basis make a commitment to putting processes and actions into place which allow for continuous improvement on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

SEPTA—a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment program in 2009—has instituted a full-scale sustainability program that has significantly reduced its environmental footprint. In addition to having the second largest hybrid-electric bus fleet in the U.S., SEPTA achieved a 19.7 percent reduction in water usage per passenger miles traveled (PMT); a 10.0 percent reduction in fuel use per PMT; a 4.0 percent reduction in electricity use per PMT; and 3.6 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per PMT.

Recently SEPTA partnered with Viridian Energy, a Philadelphia-based smart grid firm, to implement the Wayside Energy Storage program. This pilot project will develop wayside energy storage technology to capture, store, and reuse electricity generated from regenerative braking on trains on the Market-Frankford Line.

“Through this pilot project, SEPTA will become even more energy-efficient, which will help control operating costs—benefiting both customers and taxpayers,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “We’ve made our system cleaner, greener, and more efficient in recent years through such efforts as replacing traditional diesel buses with diesel-electric hybrids and installing energy-efficient lighting at stations, facilities, and offices. These measures are helping us control costs in tough economic conditions and making us a better neighbor in the communities we serve.”


Photo by Heather Redfern, SEPTA

SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey, left, accepts the Gold Recognition Level of the APTA Sustainability Commitment from Kevin Desmond, chair, APTA Sustainability Committee, and general manager, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA, during the 2012 APTA Sustainability and Public Transportation Workshop in Philadelphia.


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