SEPTA announced today that it has launched a dedicated initiative to educate and encourage the Greater Philadelphia region to live green by riding public transportation. The effort, entitled 'Go Green Go SEPTA,' will use community events, strategic partnerships and advertising to educate the public on the vital role public transportation plays in preserving the environment and promoting cleaner air.
"By taking SEPTA, our riders are doing their part to help reduce air pollution, diminish the effects of global warming and minimize our dependence on foreign oil. Our vehicles and service play an essential role in making the region cleaner, as well as in making it easier for people to live greener," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. "We're grateful for the positive impact our riders are making, and this campaign is one way to recognize their contributions to our environment."
Riding public transportation is one of the most significant and immediate actions a solo commuter can take to reduce his or her environmental impact. Vehicle exhaust is the second largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States, pumping nearly 1.5 billion tons into the atmosphere annually.(1) Public transportation, on the other hand, is a net CO2 reducer. A 40 seat bus with just seven passengers is more fuel-efficient than the average car. A full bus is six times more efficient and a full train is 15 times more efficient.(2) In fact, the annual carbon savings from a solo commuter switching to public transportation is more than the savings from home weatherizing, thermostat regulation, replacement of five incandescent bulbs with fluorescent lamps, and installation of an energy-efficient refrigerator -- combined!(3)
In addition, SEPTA has taken important measures to further minimize the environmental impact of its bus fleet. SEPTA currently has 32 diesel-electric hybrid buses on the road and will introduce an additional 400 new hybrid buses between 2008 and 2011. The hybrid buses are nearly one-third more fuel efficient than standard diesel buses and further reduce carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide emissions by 80% and 38% respectively. All hybrid buses will soon be proudly identified with a 'Go Green Go SEPTA' logo. To make the existing non-hybrid buses more environmentally-friendly, SEPTA has retrofitted the entire bus fleet to operate on cleaner, ultra low-sulfur fuel.
To bring the 'Go Green Go SEPTA' campaign to life and communicate the eco-friendly effects of choosing public transit, SEPTA is using signage featuring live moss "growing" in areas throughout Market East Station in Center City Philadelphia. At the heart of this display, SEPTA symbols are "grown" in live moss in areas such as signage atop the station's Information Desk. The campaign reinforces the message that the decision for commuters to leave their cars home and commute via SEPTA is a green one. SEPTA's green campaign also includes moss-inspired design elements on posters on station columns, token packs and window displays at SEPTA headquarters. SEPTA will also distribute "Go Green Go SEPTA" eco-friendly seed packets to commuters to reinforce the campaign's goal of spreading green awareness to riders.
"Priority one for this campaign is to make green living top of mind for people throughout our region," said Richard DiLullo, Director of Marketing for SEPTA. "We also hope that it inspires non-riders to give transit a try and to live a green life."
SEPTA is also partnering with the Clean Air Council and other agencies to spread the green cause throughout the region. The 'Go Green Go SEPTA' campaign launches in time for the Philadelphia Flower Show, a top commuter travel week during the year for SEPTA. Flower Show attendees can leave the parking and driving hassles behind by purchasing a special $9.00 "Bouquet Pass" which offers unlimited travel on SEPTA buses, trolleys, the Broad Street and Market-Frankford subway-elevated lines and Regional Rail routes for one day during the show.
- Natural Resources Defense Council, http://www.nrdc.org/globalWarming/f101.asp
- Clean Air Council
- American Public Transportation Association (APTA), "Public Transportation's Contribution to U.S. Greenhouse Gas Reduction." September 2007.