SEPTA receives Gold Recognition Level for sustainability
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Monday for its sustainability achievements by presenting SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey with the Gold Recognition Level of the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. Public transit agencies and businesses that participate in this program on a voluntary basis make a commitment to putting processes and actions into place which allow for continuous improvement on environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
“SEPTA is only the fourth public transit system to achieve the Gold Recognition Level,” said King County Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond, who serves as the chair of the APTA Sustainability Committee and presented the award. “SEPTA is a national leader in sustainability, and employees and riders should be very proud.”
The three other public transportation systems that have received the gold recognition level are: TransLink, Vancouver, BC; Intercity Transit, Olympia, WA; and Sound Transit, Seattle, WA.
SEPTA was a founding signatory of the Sustainability Commitment program in 2009 and has since put in place a full-scale sustainability program that has significantly reduced its environmental footprint. These gains led SEPTA to achieve gold level recognition from APTA, the highest level that public transit systems have achieved so far for significant reductions in areas such as energy, water use, and waste.
SEPTA was recognized for many notable projects, including the implementation of the Wayside Energy Storage program, a strategy to reduce energy consumption. SEPTA and Viridity Energy, a Philadelphia-based smart grid firm, have implemented a pilot project to develop wayside energy storage technology to capture, store, and reuse electricity generated from regenerative braking on trains on the Market-Frankford Line. With more than $250,000 in annual energy savings, this program could be replicated at additional substations.