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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

SEPTA Announces Participation in Nationwide Public Transportation Industry “Health and Safety Commitments” Program

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SEPTA has joined the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) “Health and Safety Commitments Program,” the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The health and safety of passengers and operators is the most important priority for SEPTA. Since the beginning of the pandemic, SEPTA has worked tirelessly to keep riders safe from infection from the coronavirus. Click here to read what a full list of actions SEPTA has taken to protect our EMPLOYEES and CUSTOMERS..

By signing on to the APTA Health and Safety Commitments Program with more than 100 public transit systems, SEPTA and the public transit industry are actively working to instill confidence in riders that it’s committed to protecting their health and safety.

The Program was developed after asking transit users from across the country what measures would make them feel more confident riding public transportation amid concerns about COVID-19. From this research, the industry identified four key areas that transit systems need to address to earn riders’ confidence:

  • Following public health guidelines from official sources

  • Cleaning and disinfecting transit vehicles frequently and requiring face coverings and other protections

  • Keeping passengers informed and empowered to choose the safest times and routes to ride

  • Putting health first by requiring riders and employees to avoid public transit if they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel ill

SEPTA has pledged to meet these commitments by creating specific policies that are effective for our system, our riders, and our community. A key component of the Health and Safety Commitments Program is the shared responsibility of our system and our riders to follow the guidelines. Riders rely on us to follow these commitments, and SEPTA relies on riders to protect themselves and other customers. This includes wearing masks and social distancing when possible.

“SEPTA – Move Better Together,” the Authority’s Recovery Plan, demonstrates how teams at SEPTA are planning scenarios based on projections for the pandemic, the economy and social behaviors. It captures SEPTA’s efforts to partner with experts in the industry to incorporate best practices here in the United States, as well as lessons learned from global cities who are ahead of us on the pandemic curve.

To better understand and address immediate needs and concerns, SEPTA has engaged with our customers through social media and a customer travel survey. We learned that the most critical issues are mask wearing, cleaning and sanitizing, and ensuring safe social distancing and SEPTA put into place initiatives to address them.

We created a team of Social Distancing Coaches stationed at key locations to promote mask wearing in compliance with Governor Wolf’s order, distribute masks to those who need them and to answer SEPTA-related questions. We have also posted social distancing signage and are encouraging riders to keep space between themselves and others where they can. 

To protect riders’ health and safety, we have implemented a deeper and more robust cleaning regimen focused on sanitizing surfaces, filtering and refreshing the air our riders breathe.

SEPTA is committed to continually addressing and implementing pillars of the Program. Current actions/plans include:

  • Mobilizing task forces to enhance the cleaning of surfaces and augment and improve ventilation protocols in vehicles, stations and offices.

  • Continuing the use of EPA-approved disinfectants to kill COVID-19 and cleaning all ​sanitizing vehicles a minimum of twice daily. 

  • SEPTA’s vehicles are ​well ventilated frequently – new air refreshes ​changes occur on every vehicle every two to three minutes. In addition, SEPTA is upgrading its air filters to high efficiency filters on its vehicles and at headquarters at 1234 Market Street. 

  • We continue to collaborate with top academics to test the latest in air cleaning technology.

SEPTA has demonstrated throughout the pandemic that transit is essential infrastructure. We provided lifeline service to essential workers and we’re now focused on meeting the region’s changing needs and preparing for future demands. Initiatives like APTA's Health and Safety Commitments Program will ensure SEPTA is positioned to deliver safe, reliable, sustainable, accessible and customer-focused service for the region’s new reality. We are more critical now than ever before. 

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