Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

The Votes are In!

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Last month, we asked you who would make the best voice of SEPTA? 

Inspired by Seth Rogen becoming the new voice of Vancouver's public transportation system, we thought it'd be interesting to see who you'd like hear on SEPTA platforms, trains, buses, and trolleys.

Seth's announcements encompass transit etiquette, tidbits about Vancouver, and his relationship to the region.

Currently, you can hear Phillies phenom Rhys Hoskins reminding you to "play it safe and watch your step" thanks to a new partnership. And a few years ago ex-Eagle Connor Barwin reminded riders to recycle.

Thanks for lending your voice, Rhys!

So for our August contest, we asked... If you could choose, who would you want as the voice of SEPTA? And boy did you respond! We had 954 official entries and thousands more via social media! Before we share them, we'd like to thank all participants! Your entries were thoughtful and interesting, with good debates that raged on all sides. 

So who was the big winner? 

The Fresh Prince himself: Will Smith! 

Perhaps the Fresh Prince would prefer we use a more current photo of him.

We appreciate all of the votes for him, and agree that his voice, which has time and again lent itself to catchy tunes and some of our favorite blockbuster movies, would sound great when announcing, "Local train making all stops to 69th Street in West Philadelphia - born and raised!" Maybe next time he's town, he can record a few announcements for us! 

Overbrook Train Station - Overbrook is the namesake of his production company!

Will Smith blew away the competition with a whopping 145 votes. Comedian Big Jay Oakerson, came in second place. North Philly native and comedy superstar Kevin Hart came in third.

We had a feeling Kevin Hart would be a popular choice...

While Will Smith, Big Jay, and Kevin Hart dominated the competition, there were many other repeat requests for the new voice of SEPTA. Names topping the list include John McBride - the voice of the Broad Street Run, Upper Darby native Tina Fey, the voice of the Eagles Merrill Reese, Lincoln High School alum Sly Stallone, Eagle and sometime Mummer Jason Kelce, long-time 6abc anchor Jim Gardner, NPR-er Terry Gross, the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Patti LaBelle, Kevin Bacon, Questlove, The Roots, Joel Embiid, Pink, Nick Foles, Meek Mill, and Jill Scott.

We agree Tina Fey's "Delco" accent would sound great on the Route 101 Trolley, don't you?

And Merrill Reese is already the voice of the Philadelphia Eagles, so why not add SEPTA to his resume? We can hear it now - "Riding SEPTA is GOOOOOOOOD for the environment!!!!"

Questlove and The Roots were a crowd favorite, both in the official contest and on social media. The Philly-based hip-hop group is currently making our city proud as the house band of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in New York City. Think they could squeeze in some time to tell passengers to "stand behind the yellow line"?

Questlove, Black Thought, and The Roots formed in Philadelphia in 1987

View the competition by word size variation, but keep in mind, this only tallies those who received more than 4 votes (there were 140 different people that received 4 votes or less). And we found it interesting to note that 23 people voted for themselves ("me")! 

The tallies from social media echoed the same sentiments. Will Smith and The Roots were neck and neck when we look at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram comments. Kevin Hart came in second across all platforms with Tina Fey bringing in the bronze.

Whether or not SEPTA can pull a celebrity name to read announcement on the system, remains to be seen. But stay tuned - we're gonna try! Hey, crazier things have happened... 

And a new month means a new contest, which is all about new beginnings. Check it out, and enter to win here!

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