Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

47 Stories

Route 47

Ever wonder about the journeys of your fellow passengers?

The bus is one of only a few public spaces where Philadelphia residents encounter one another on a daily basis. On the bus, passengers’ journeys merge together. Yet conversation is rare, and passengers miss the opportunity to learn about and empathize with one another. As the nation's largest public art program, Mural Arts Philadelphia, held true to their belief that art ignites change, and with the help of artists Shira Walinsky and Laura Deutch brought us 47 Stories and the opportunity to take a moment to discover the stories of our fellow travelers.

47 Stories focuses on SEPTA's Route 47 Bus, a route that runs from north to south, connecting diverse communities along the way. 47 Stories reimagines the Route 47 Bus as a vehicle for introducing passengers to Philadelphia. The artists took countless trips and even more pictures and interviewed passengers and even the bus operators to gain perspective on who rides the Route 47 and why. As part of their interviews, the artists asked riders what songs they would put on a playlist for the Route 47. Click here to listen to a playlist of their answers. Images on the bus show places that are important to members of communities who live and work along the route, while quotations reveal what interviewees love and value about our city.

The bus brings the voices, stories, and experiences of Philadelphians together, creating a space for reflection on shared histories. Through its powerful imagery and quotations, 47 Stories demonstrates that “we are all migrating together.” Think about it. The Route 47 travels 10 miles one way, making it one of the longest bus routes in Philadelphia County. It carries approximately 17,000 riders every day, That's a lot of opportunity to share, engage and appreciate your fellow rider.

The 47 Stories project is part of Southeast by Southeast (Mural Projects).

Download the 47 Stories Brochure (PDF)

Sponsors of the 47 Stories project include Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS), 25th Century Foundation, Hummingbird Foundation, PIDCS and Samuel S. Fels Fund

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