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Ride Safe on SEPTA

Suit Up. Space Out. Scrub Down.

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We love our city and all the 😷 people in it. No matter who you are or where you’re going, SEPTA can connect you to where you want to be. 

We learned that the most critical issues are mask wearing, cleaning and sanitizing, and ensuring safe social distancing. SEPTA has moved quickly with resources and new plans to address these concerns, and we will continue to build on these initiatives moving forward.

It is important to note - no direct correlation has been found between use of public transportation and transmission of COVID-19.

Our goal is to emerge from the pandemic as a more efficient and agile organization. Public transportation is essential for creating opportunity and for building a more sustainable region. We are committed to delivering safe, reliable and accessible service through this recovery and beyond. Together, we ride on.


Enhanced cleaning efforts include sanitizing every vehicle at least twice a day; sanitizing high-touch surfaces on trains, buses, trolleys and facilities; reallocating resources to work around the clock cleaning, disinfecting, and overnight power washing at all open stations; utilizing EPA recommended products.

To disinfect, SEPTA uses Lemon Skies and Avistat-D. Both products are EPA approved and fall on EPA List N which classifies disinfectants for Coronavirus (COVID-19). In fact - we were using these products prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lemon Skies disinfectant is a heavy duty cleaner and limited disinfectant which is effective against gram negative bacteria when used on pre-cleaned, nonporous, hard environmental surfaces.

Avistat-D is designed specifically as a general non-acid cleaner and disinfectant for use in hospitals, nursing homes, public restrooms, schools, transportation terminals, office buildings, manufacturing facilities, lodging establishments, retail businesses and athletic/recreational facilities where housekeeping is of prime importance in controlling the hazard of cross contamination. It is formulated to disinfect hard, non-porous, inanimate environmental surfaces: floors, walls, metal surfaces, stainless steel surfaces, glazed porcelain, glazed ceramic tile, plastic surfaces, bathrooms, shower stalls, bathtubs, and cabinets.

We are coordinating with our industry peers and experts including researchers at Drexel University to test and evaluate emerging sanitizing technology. Only products and/or processes that meet our rigorous testing standards will be added to SEPTA cleaning protocols.


SEPTA employees worked tirelessly to ensure safe and reliable travel for those that needed it most. To ensure they remained safe, we implemented multiple new protocols, including building and installing custom operator barriers on all in-service vehicles to reduce exposure to riders.


To reduce contact during our customers’ travel experience, we are going to take advantage of the full functionality of our SEPTA Key card. Minimizing use of cash for fare payment will protect both customers and employees. 

And to ease travel, SEPTA provides FREE TRANSFERS on transit (bus, trolley, Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line, and Norristown High Speed Line) when you use a SEPTA Key card with Travel Wallet, FREE RIDES for children under 12 (must be accompanied by an adult), and FREE RIDES for Seniors 65+ (with a SEPTA Key Senior ID Card).


To ensure the health and safety of our customers, we implemented social distancing protocols - including installing social distancing decals on vehicle seats and on station platforms to indicate proper rider spacing.

We've also implemented social distancing protocols at all of work locations including shops, districts, and crew facilities.

To give bus riders more room, we reintroduced longer articulated buses. And we are asking customers to exit buses and trolleys from the rear doors to maintain distance between operators and other riders who are boarding and paying their fares.

SEPTA will soon be installing additional automatic passenger counters for all of our vehicles, which will allow us to provide real-time vehicle crowding information to customers. We’re also developing new tools to improve real-time arrival information, including more accurate predicative arrival times. This enhanced information can help customers make more informed decisions on when, how, and where to travel to avoid crowding.


In accordance with the new federal mandate, TSA and SEPTA require proper wearing of face masks, at all times, when on public transit and when waiting for public transit - this applies to customers and SEPTA employees. Failure to comply could result in denial of boarding or removal and may result in federal penalties. 

As more people return to traveling on SEPTA, we want to make sure they feel safe and comfortable. All SEPTA employees are required to wear masks or face coverings. Riders are also required to wear masks not only to protect themselves but also other riders, operators, and train crews. The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain and riders have made it clear that requiring facial coverings is a priority for them to feel safe returning to riding public transit. 

Wearing a mask in public - and specifically on public transportation - is quite simply the best thing any of us can do. Next to the vaccine - a mask is the single most powerful weapon we have against COVID-19.

Mask Force Philly - a combined force of SEPTA employee volunteers, front line team members, and local transit supporters - launched Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Mask Force Philly will hand out cloth masks 😷 - compliments of the FTA - to anyone who needs a mask (or an extra) while supplies last. 


We are improving the quality of air on-board vehicles by upgrading to high-efficiency filters and changing air filters more frequently. This further enhances the environment on vehicles, which are designed to have the air inside refreshed every two-to-three minutes.

SEPTA is also improving air filtration on buses and trolleys by leaving roof hatches open for better airflow in good weather.