Infobox Public transit
(Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority)

locale=Delaware Valley
  • Interurban
  • Regional rail
  • Rapid transit
  • Tram
  • Transit bus

      (some routes in Chester Co. contracted)

      The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a regional public authority that operates various forms of public transit — bus, subway and elevated rail, regional rail, light rail, and electric trolley bus — that serve 3.8 million people in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. SEPTA also manages construction projects that repair, replace, and expand infrastructure and rolling stock.

      SEPTA serves the combined city and county of Philadelphia, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, and Chester County. SEPTA also serves New Castle County in Delaware, and Mercer County in New Jersey.

      SEPTA has the fifth-largest transit system in the United States, with 280 active stations, over 450 miles of track, 2,295 revenue vehicles, 196 routes, and about 306.9 million annual unlinked trips. Average weekday ridership across the system is about 1,000,000 passengers. SEPTA also manages Shared-Ride services in Philadelphia and ADA services across the region. These services are operated by third-party contractors.

      SEPTA is one of only two transit agencies in the United States that operate all of the five major types of transit vehicles: regional (commuter) rail trains, "heavy" rapid transit (subway/elevated) trains, light rail vehicles (trolleys), electric trolleybuses and motor buses. The other is Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority. ["SEPTA Facts," SEPTA Web site]

      SEPTA employs more than 9,000 people. Its headquarters is located at 1234 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia.



      SEPTA was created by Pennsylvania state charter on August 17, 1963, to coordinate government subsidies to various transit and railroad companies in southeastern Pennsylvania.

      On November 1, 1965, SEPTA absorbed two predecessor agencies:
      * The Passenger Service Improvement Corporation (PSIC), which was created on January 20, 1960 to work with the Reading Company and Pennsylvania Railroad to improve commuter rail service and help the railroads maintain otherwise unprofitable passenger rail service.
      * The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Compact (SEPACT), created on September 8, 1961, by the City of Philadelphia and the Counties of Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester to coordinate regional transport issues.

      By 1966, the Reading Company and Pennsylvania Railroad commuter railroad lines were operated under contract to SEPTA. On February 1, 1968, the Pennsylvania Railroad merged with the New York Central railroad to become Penn Central, only to file for bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. Penn Central continued to operate in bankruptcy until 1976, when Conrail took over its assets along with several other bankrupt railroads, including the Reading Company. Conrail operated commuter services under contract to SEPTA until January 1, 1983, when SEPTA took over operations and acquired track, rolling stock, and other assets to form the Railroad Division.

      ubsequent Expansion

      SEPTA acquired the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) on September 30, 1968, which included bus, trolley, and trackless trolley routes, and the Market-Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line in the City of Philadelphia. This became the City Transit Division. (Established as the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company in 1907 by the merger of a group of then independent transit companies operating within the city and its environs, the system became the PTC in 1940.)

      On January 30, 1970, SEPTA acquired the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company, also known as the Red Arrow Lines, which included the Philadelphia and Western Railroad (P&W) route now called the Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100), the Media and Sharon Hill Lines (Routes 101 and 102), and several suburban bus routes in Delaware County. Today, this is the Victory Division, though it is sometimes referred to as the Red Arrow Division.

      In 1976, SEPTA acquired the Schuylkill Valley Lines, which is today the Frontier Division.

      2005 Strike

      SEPTA's contracts with its transportation employees in the City, Victory, and Frontier Divisions expired in April and May 2005. After working without a contract for the next few months, the Transport Workers Union Local 234 and the United Transportation Union Local 1594 set a final deadline of October 31, 2005 at 12:01 AM, at which point the unions would strike if a new deal was not reached. The main disagreement between SEPTA management and union leadership was regarding employees' contributions to their health insurance premiums.

      Before the strike, SEPTA tried to negotiate with the union, offering them a new deal whereby SEPTA union employees would pay 5% of their salary towards healthcare costs. The SEPTA unions refused the offer, arguing that when cost of living increases and inflation were factored in, its members would actually make less money than they had before. Negotiators walked out of contract negotiations minutes before the 12:01 AM deadline when they failed to reach an agreement.

      Shortly after midnight on the morning of October 31, the unions called a strike. All employees in the City, Victory, and Frontier Divisions walked off the job, resulting in a complete suspension of service on all bus, trolley, and subway lines. Service on the regional rail division continued according to contingency plans, with service added to certain stations to help transport displaced city and suburban division passengers. This work stoppage stranded approximately 400,000 riders daily, impacting around 1,000,000 rides daily, forcing commuters to carpool, walk, or arrange other alternative methods of transportation. In addition, over 27,000 public school students who receive free or subsidized transit tokens were forced to miss school completely or have their days cut short due to transportation issues.

      In the early morning of November 7, 2005, a preliminary agreement was reached between SEPTA management and union leadership, ending the strike. Service on all affected transit lines was fully restored by the late afternoon. This agreement was due in large part to the intervention by former Philadelphia mayor, and current Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

      Transfer Disputes

      In 2007, as part of a new budget-balancing proposal, SEPTA proposed eliminating bus transfers. This would have resulted in an 80% fare increase for many riders. Because SEPTA has been unable to provide a statistical need for the elimination, they have been forced to hold off. Fact|date=April 2008


      SEPTA is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors.

      * The City of Philadelphia appoints two members; one member is appointed by the Mayor, the other by the City Council President. These two board members can veto any item that is approved by the full SEPTA board because the city represents more than two-thirds of SEPTA's local subsidy, fare revenue, and ridership. However, the veto may be overridden with the vote of at least 75% of the full board within 30 days.

      * Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County appoint two members each. These members are appointed by the County Commissioners in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery County and by the County Council in Delaware County.

      * The majority and minority leaders of the two houses of the Pennsylvania State Legislature (the Senate and the House of Representatives) appoint one member each, for a total of four members.

      * The Governor of Pennsylvania appoints one member.

      The day-to-day operations of SEPTA are handled by the General Manager, who is appointed and hired by the Board of Directors. The General Manager is assisted by nine department heads called Assistant General Managers.

      The present General Manager is Joseph M. Casey, who had served as the authority's Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer until his appointment as General Manager in 2008. Past General Managers include Faye L. M. Moore, Joseph T. Mack, John "Jack" Leary, Lou Gambaccini, and David L. Gunn. Past acting General Managers include James Kilcur and Bill Stead.

      Routes and ridership

      Rapid transit

      *Market–Frankford Line (Blue Line): subway and elevated line from the Frankford Transportation Center (rebuilt in 2003) in the Frankford section of Philadelphia to 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby, via Center City Philadelphia. Weekday ridership averaged 178,715 in 2006 [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 79,, retrieved May 7, 2007] .
      *Broad Street Line and Broad–Ridge Spur (Orange Line): subway line along Broad Street in Philadelphia from Fern Rock Transportation Center to Pattison Avenue/Sports Complex, via Center City Philadelphia. Weekday ridership averaged 114,816 in 2006 [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 79,, retrieved May 7, 2007] .

      Trolley and light rail

      *Subway–Surface Trolley Lines (Green Line): five trolley routes - 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 - that run in a subway in Center City and fan out along on street-level trolley tracks in West and Southwest Philadelphia. Daily ridership averaged 55,463 in 2006. [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, p. 79-80,, retrieved May 7, 2007]
      *Route 100 (Norristown High-Speed Line): formerly known as the Philadelphia & Western (P&W) Railroad, this interurban rapid transit is considered a light rail line. Daily ridership averaged 8,801 in 2006. [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 79,, retrieved May 7, 2007]
      *Routes 101 and 102 (Suburban Trolley Lines): two trolley routes in Delaware County which run mostly on private rights-of-way but also have some street running. Daily ridership averaged 7,132 in 2006. [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 81,, retrieved May 7, 2007]
      *Routes 15, 23, and 56: Three surface trolley routes that were "temporarily" suspended in 1992. Routes 23 and 56 are currently operated with buses. Trolley service on Route 15 resumed as of September 2005. Route 23 has long been SEPTA's most heavily traveled surface route, with daily ridership averaging 20,113 in 2006 [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 81,, retrieved May 7, 2007] .

      *Trackless trolley (Trolleybus): Until the summer of 2008, all five of SEPTA's trackless trolley routes were operated with buses. Routes 29, 59, 66, 75, and 79 were run with trackless trolleys until diesel buses replaced them in 2002 and 2003. The first new pilot trackless trolley arrived in June 2007 and their operation resumed on Routes 59 and 66 on May 21, 2008. Service was later restored on route 75 as well. SEPTA did not purchase enough new trackless trolleys to restore service to routes 29 and 79.


      SEPTA lists 121 bus routes, not including over 50 school trips, with most routes in the City of Philadelphia proper. Currently, SEPTA generally employs lettered, one and two-digit route numbering for its City Division routes, 90-series and 100-series numbers routes for its Victory ("Red Arrow") Division (Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties) and its Frontier Division (Montgomery and Bucks Counties), 200-series routes for its Regional Rail connector routes (Routes 201, 204, 205 and 206 in Montgomery & Chester Counties), 300-series routes for other specialized and/or third-party contract routes, and 400-series routes for limited service buses to schools within the city of Philadelphia.

      Commuter rail

      SEPTA's commuter rail service is run by the SEPTA Regional Rail division. This division operates 13 lines serving more than 150 stations covering most of the five county southeastern Pennsylvania region. It also runs trains to Newark, Delaware, Trenton, New Jersey, and West Trenton, New Jersey. Daily ridership averaged over 100,000 in 2006 [SEPTA 2007 Annual Service Plan, pg. 82,, retrieved May 7, 2007] , with 1/3 of ridership on the R5 route between Thorndale, Paoli, Lansdale, and Doylestown.

      EPTA divisions

      SEPTA has three major operating divisions: City Transit, Suburban, and Regional Rail. These divisions reflect the different transit and railroad operations that SEPTA has assumed.

      City Transit Division

      The City Transit Division operates routes mostly within the City of Philadelphia, including buses, subway-surface trolleys, the Market-Frankford Line, and the Broad Street Line. Some of its routes extend into Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. This division is the descendant of the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC). There are seven depots in this division: five of these depots only operate buses, one is a mixed bus/streetcar depot, one is a streetcar-only facility.

      Bus and trackless trolley routes
      * SEPTA City Transit Division surface routes

      Light rail routes
      * SEPTA Subway-Surface Trolley Lines
      * SEPTA Route 15
      * SEPTA Route 34

      * Callowhill Depot (buses and streetcars)
      * Elmwood Depot (streetcars only)
      * Frankford Depot (buses and trackless trolleys)
      * Comly Depot (buses only)
      * Midvale Depot (buses only)
      * Allegheny Depot (articulated buses only)
      * Southern Depot (buses only. SEPTA Voted to not have the trackless trolley's return to South Philly)
      * Germantown Depot (buses, CCT Oversight(Senior-Disabled) / Phila. Trenton Coach(officially) contract operations) [ For latest info on Garages]

      uburban Division

      Victory District

      The Victory District operates suburban bus and trolley (or light rail) routes that are based at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby in Delaware County. Its routes include the Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100) light rail line that runs from 69th Street Terminal to Norristown and the SEPTA Surface Media and Sharon Hill Trolley Lines (Routes 101 and 102). This district is the descendant of the , also known as the Red Arrow Lines. Most residents of the Victory District operating area still refer to this district as the "Red Arrow Division."

      Light rail routes
      * SEPTA Route 100
      * SEPTA Routes 101 and 102

      Bus routes
      * SEPTA Suburban Division bus routes

      Frontier District

      The Frontier District operates suburban bus routes that are based at the Norristown Transportation Center in Montgomery County and bus lines that serve eastern Bucks County. This district is the descendant of the Schuylkill Valley Lines in the Norristown area. SEPTA began operating the Bucks County routes in the 1980s.

      uburban contract operations

      Regional Rail division

      The Regional Rail Division (RRD) operates 13 commuter railroad routes that begin in Central Philadelphia and radiate outwards, terminating in intra-city, suburban, and out-of-state locations.

      This division is the descendant of the six electrified commuter lines of the Reading Company (RDG), the six electrified commuter lines of Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR, later Penn Central: PC) railroads, and the new Airport line constructed by the City of Philadelphia between 1974 and 1984.

      With the construction and opening of the Center City Commuter Connection Tunnel in 1984, lines were paired such that a former Pennsylvania Railroad line was coupled with a former Reading line. Seven such pairings were created and given route designations numbered R1 through R8 (with R4 not used). As a result, the routes were originally designed so that trains would proceed from one outlying terminal to Center City, stopping at 30th Street Station, Suburban Station, and Market East Station, then proceed out to the other outlying terminal assigned to the route. Since ridership patterns have changed since the implementation of this plan, numerous exceptions exist, e.g. R6 Cynwyd line trains from Cynwyd terminate at Suburban station and do not proceed to Norristown, while R6s from Norristown often continue through center city as R2s.

      The out-of-state terminals offer connections (and potential connections) with other transit agencies. For example, the R7 Trenton line offers connections in Trenton, New Jersey to NJ Transit (NJT) or Amtrak for travel to New York City. Plans exist to restore NJT service to West Trenton, New Jersey, thus offering a future alternate to New York via the R3 West Trenton line and NJT. Another plan offers a connection for travel to Baltimore and Washington DC via MARC, involving extensions of the SEPTA R2 from Newark, Delaware, an extension of MARC's Penn service from Perryville MD, or both.

      SEPTA's railroad reporting mark SPAX can be seen on non-revenue work equipment including boxcars, diesel locomotives, and other rolling stock.

      EPTA roster


      Regional Rail

      Upcoming purchase

      SEPTA has made a purchase to buy 400 New Flyer Hybrid buses to replace the Nabi Ikarus buses in their 12 year life span. Another future plan is to purchase 120 [ Silverliner V] 's made and manufactured by Rotem. They will sport one double door and one single door that will not be at the ends of each vehicles. The Silverliner V's will replace the aging Silverliner II's and III's. Rotem announced that they will build a factory in south Philadelphia to manufacture the future order of trains in Philadelphia and the trains that will be ordered later on from other transit agencies around the US [] [] []

      Maintenance of way vehicles

      * C-145 snow sweeper 1923
      * Harsco Track Technologies Corporation work car
      * PCC work car 2194
      * SEPTA Railroad OPS-3161 work car
      * W-56 work Car
      * W-61 work Car
      * 1033-1034 Market Frankford line Work Cars

      Retired Fleet as of June 2008


      * 1996-97 North_American_Bus_Industries 416.08TA Note:Some of these buses are now starting to get retired
      * 1986-89 Neoplan USA An440-DK-EZ series
      * 1984 Neoplan USA An435-BP
      * 1982-85 Neoplan An440 AK-CD series
      * 1979 American General/Flyer 10240-T Trackless Trolleys
      * 1971-1976 Flxible New Looks
      * 1963-1970General Motors Fishbowls
      * 1980 General Motors RTS II's (T8W603/T8J603 are 40 footers, T7W603 is the 35 foots
      * 1984 Volvo B-10m Articulated buses (known to philadelphians as "Accordion buses")
      * 1947 J.G. Brill and Company TC-44 Trackless Trolleys
      * 1955-1957 General Motors Old Looks


      * 1906-1911 Market Street el' cars, #1-135, Pressed Steel Car Co., Class A-8 (M1)
      * 1911-1913 Market Street el' cars, #136-215, J.G. Brill Co., Class A-8 (M1)
      * 1922 Frankford el' cars, #501-600, J.G. Brill Co., Class A-15 (M2)
      * 1960 Budd el' cars, #601-646, Budd Co., Class A-49 (M3)
      * 1960 Budd el' cars, #701-743, Budd Co., Class A-50 (M3)
      * 1960 Budd el' cars, #702-924, Budd Co., Class A-51 (M3)
      * 1960 Budd el' cars, #745-923, Budd Co., Class A-50 (M3)
      * 1928 North Broad subway cars, #1-150, J.G. Brill Co. (B1)
      * 1938 South Broad subway cars, #151-200, Pressed Steel Car Co. (B2)
      * 1936 Bridge Line subway cars, #1001-1024, J.G. Brill Co. (B3), acquired second-hand from DRPA (Delaware River Port Authority) subsidiary PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation)
      * 1927 to 1929 J.G. Brill and Company Strafford Cars
      * St. Louis Car Company Ex-CTA Cars
      * 1932 to 1933 J.G. Brill and Company Master Unit Cars
      * 1940 J.G. Brill and Company Brillliners
      * 1926 J.G. Brill and Company Center Door
      * 1949 St. Louis Car Company Interurbans
      * 1941 St. Louis Car Company Liberty Liners
      * 1940 to 1942 PCC Air Cars
      * 1946 to 1948 PCC All Electrics

      Maintenance facilities

      * 69th Street Yard (Market-Frankford Line)
      * Allegheny Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
      * Berridge Shops (formerly Wyoming Shops) (Bus Maintenance and Overhauls)
      * Callowhill Depot (City Transit Division/Bus and Streetcar)
      * Comly Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
      * Elmwood Depot (City Transit Division/Streetcar)
      * Fern Rock Yard (Broad Street Line)
      * Frankford Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
      * Frazer Yard (Regional Rail Push and Pull sets)
      * Frontier Depot (Suburban Transit Division/Bus)
      * Germantown Brakes Maintenance Facility (Bus Maintenance/Phila.Trenton Coach (officially)or Contract Operations-bus for government agencies and senior or disabled person transportation oversight (CCT))
      * Midvale Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
      * Overbrook Maintenance Facility (Regional Rail)
      * Powelton Yard (Regional Rail)
      * Roberts Yard (Regional Rail)
      * Southern Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
      * Woodland Maintenance Facility (Streetcar Overhaul and Repairs)
      * Victory Depot (69th Street) (Suburban Transit Division/Bus and Rail)
      * Bridge Street Yard (Market-Frankford Line)

      Connecting transit agencies in the Philadelphia region

      Local services

      * The PATCO Speedline is a rapid transit line that runs from Center City Philadelphia to Camden, New Jersey and terminates in Lindenwold, New Jersey. At the 8th and Market Streets, one can transfer to the Market-Frankford Line and Broad-Ridge Spur with an additional transfer fare. Paid transfers are also available at PATCO's 12th-13th Street Station and 15th-16th Street Station with SEPTA's Broad Street Line Walnut-Locust Station. The PATCO Speedline crosses over the Delaware River via the Ben Franklin Bridge. It is owned by the Delaware River Port Authority.
      * Krapf's Transit runs regularly scheduled buses between Coatesville, Downingtown, Exton, and West Chester in the western Philadelphia suburbs. They also provide contract services to SEPTA.
      * Pottstown Area Rapid Transit (formerly known as Pottstown Urban Transit) operates five bus routes in the northwestern Philadelphia suburbs within Pottstown Borough and the neighboring townships of Lower Pottsgrove, Upper Pottsgrove, and West Pottsgrove in Montgomery County and North Coventry Township in Chester County.

      Regional services

      * NJ Transit runs buses from Philadelphia to New Jersey points. Many NJT buses stop at the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal, which is immediately north of Market East Station, or at other locations in Center City Philadelphia. NJT also operates the River Line light rail line between Camden and Trenton, the Northeast Corridor Line between Trenton and New York, and the Atlantic City Line between 30th Street Station and Atlantic City. Both the Northeast Corridor Line and River Line connect with SEPTA's R7 Trenton Regional Rail line at the Trenton train station.
      * DART First State provides bus service in Delaware. This service connects with SEPTA's R2 Wilmington-Newark Regional Rail line in Wilmington and Newark.

      National services

      * Amtrak provides rail service between Philadelphia (at 30th Street Station) and points beyond SEPTA's range, including Lancaster and Harrisburg to the west, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. to the southwest, and New York and Boston to the northeast. Amtrak's service overlaps to some degree with the R2, R5, and R7 lines. In addition to 30th Street Station, shared Amtrak/SEPTA Regional Rail stations include Wilmington and Newark on the R2, Ardmore, Paoli, Exton, and Downingtown on the R5, and North Philadelphia, Cornwells Heights, and Trenton on the R7. Amtrak is faster than SEPTA, but significantly more expensive, particularly for services along the Northeast Corridor.
      * Greyhound and a variety of interregional bus operators, most of which are part of the Trailways system, stop at the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal. In addition to being adjacent to Market East Station, the terminal is one block from the Market-Frankford Line 11th Street station and various SEPTA bus routes. Major destinations served with one seat rides to/from the terminal include Allentown, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Newark (NJ), New York, Pittsburgh, Reading, Scranton, Washington, and Wilmington.


      ee also

      * List of rapid transit systems
      * List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership
      * Commuter rail in North America

      External links

      * [ Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority] - Official Website

      * [ General Fares]
      * [ Regional Rail Fares]
      * [ Train Tickets Fares]
      * [ Train Tickets Via Center City]
      * [ Promotional Roundtrip Weekend Fares Program]
      * [ Travel On SEPTA & NJ Transit]

      * [ SEPTA bus and rail pictures Fansite] bustitution
      * [ Philadelphia Transit Forums] Septa and other TA Fan site
      * [ Philadelphia Transit Vehicles Fan Site]
      * [ Philly NRHS SEPTA History]
      * [ Philadelphia Transit Fan Discussion Boards]
      * [ Philly Trolley Tracks]
      * [ SEPTA Transit stops mapped onto Google Maps]
      * [ SEPTA Photo Pages-Stan's Railpix]
      * [ Studio 34's Eponymous Trolley; Or, A Short History of Route 34]

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  • Septa — (lat.), 1) allerlei durch eine Mauer, od. einen Zaun eingeschlossene Orte, wie Gärten, Thiergärten etc.; 2) in Rom die abgesonderten u. durch Breter unterschiedenen Plätze, worin das Volk bei den Comitien seine Stimme abgab; sie hießen wegen der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Septa — Septa, lat., Einzahl septum, mit Zäunen oder Mauern umschlossene Räumlichkeiten …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

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  • SEPTA — Un train de la SEPTA La Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) (français : « Régie des transports du sud est de la Pennsylvanie ») est une compagnie de transport de droit public qui dessert 3,8 millions d… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • septa — Plural of septum. [L.] intra alveolar s. SYN: interradicular s. of maxilla and mandible, under septum. * * * septa pl of SEPTUM * * * sep·ta (sepґtə) [L.] plural of septum …   Medical dictionary

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