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SEPTA’s Approach to Sustainability

April 27, 2023

As the 6th largest public transit system in the U.S. – being sustainable is not just a top priority - but a responsibility for SEPTA. SEPTA’s approach to sustainability focuses on its “triple-bottom-line,” which consists of accounting for the natural environment, creating healthy communities and workforces, and focusing on economic vitality.

Transportation is one of the top ten causes of global warming contributing to the climate crisis. To help preserve our natural environment, SEPTA continues to set goals to reduce its carbon footprint, improve energy and water efficiency, reduce stormwater runoff, and reduce and reuse waste. SEPTA reduces its CO2 emissions by using hybrid-electric buses and by generating renewable energy from our solar farms and rooftop solar panels to help power rail travel.

To create healthy communities and workforces, SEPTA has targeted goals to increase participation of disadvantaged business enterprises, improve food access, invest in employee health and professional development, and provide social and economic opportunities in communities though the participation in ongoing local and regional planning efforts like improving access to local food via transit and supporting regional business equity.

SETPA’s economic vitality goals formulate sustainability best-management practices, bring new financial resources to bear, and grow ridership throughout the region. SEPTA’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) provides tools to ensure successful business operations while meeting or exceeding environmental compliance obligations. By tracking and transparently reporting key indicators of financial impact, SEPTA has demonstrated over the years that sustainability has a net-positive impact on the business. Additionally, to encourage ridership, SEPTA is committed to developing programs and initiatives that make public transit the preferred mode of transportation for visitors and residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Taking public transit is the best thing an individual can do to take immediate action in saving the environment. Use the carbon calculator to determine how much you can reduce your carbon footprint by leaving your car behind and riding SEPTA. And Click here to learn more about SEPTA’s sustainability plan, SEP-TAINABLE.