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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is a regional municipal authority that operates various forms of public transit — bus, subway and elevated rail, regional rail, light rail, and electric trolley bus — that serve 3.8 million people in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvaniamarker. SEPTA also manages construction projects that repair, replace, and expand infrastructure and rolling stock.

SEPTA serves the combined city and county of Philadelphiamarker, Delaware Countymarker, Montgomery Countymarker, Bucks Countymarker, and Chester Countymarker. SEPTA also serves New Castle Countymarker in Delawaremarker, and Mercer Countymarker in New Jerseymarker.

SEPTA has the 6th-largest U.S. transit system by ridership, with about 306.9 million annual unlinked trips. It controls 280 active stations, over 450 miles of track, 2,295 revenue vehicles, and 196 routes. SEPTA also manages Shared-Ride services in Philadelphia and ADA services across the region. These services are operated by third-party contractors.

SEPTA is one of only two U.S. transit agencies that operates all of the five major types of transit vehicles: regional (commuter) rail trains, "heavy" rapid transit (subway/elevated) trains, light rail vehicles (trolleys), electric trolleybuses and motor buses. The other is Boston's Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (which runs ferryboat service as well).

SEPTA employs more than 9,000 people. Its headquarters is located at 1234 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia.


SEPTA logo from the 1970s


SEPTA was created by Pennsylvania state charter on August 17, 1963, to coordinate government subsidies to various transit and railroad companies in southeastern Pennsylvania.

On November 1, 1965, SEPTA absorbed two predecessor agencies:
  • The Passenger Service Improvement Corporation (PSIC), which was created on January 20, 1960 to work with the Reading Company and Pennsylvania Railroad to improve commuter rail service and help the railroads maintain otherwise unprofitable passenger rail service.
  • The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Compact (SEPACT), created on September 8, 1961, by the City of Philadelphia and the Counties of Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester to coordinate regional transport issues.

By 1966, the Reading Company and Pennsylvania Railroad commuter railroad lines were operated under contract to SEPTA. On February 1, 1968, the Pennsylvania Railroad merged with the New York Central railroad to become Penn Central, only to file for bankruptcy on June 21, 1970. Penn Central continued to operate in bankruptcy until 1976, when Conrail took over its assets along with those of several other bankrupt railroads, including the Reading Company. Conrail operated commuter services under contract to SEPTA until January 1, 1983, when SEPTA took over operations and acquired track, rolling stock, and other assets to form the Railroad Division.

Subsequent expansion

SEPTA acquired the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) on September 30, 1968, which included bus, trolley, and trackless trolley routes, and the Market-Frankford Line and the Broad Street Line in the City of Philadelphia. This became the City Transit Division. (Established as the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company in 1907 by the merger of a group of then independent transit companies operating within the city and its environs, the system became the PTC in 1940.)

On January 30, 1970, SEPTA acquired the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company, also known as the Red Arrow Lines, which included the Philadelphia and Western Railroad (P&W) route now called the Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100), the Media and Sharon Hill Lines (Routes 101 and 102), and several suburban bus routes in Delaware County. Today, this is the Victory Division, though it is sometimes referred to as the Red Arrow Division.

In 1976, SEPTA acquired the transit operations of Schuylkill Valley Lines, which is today the Frontier Division.

1998 Strike

On June 1, 1998 the Transport Workers Union initiated a strike that would not end for 40 days on July 10. This was the seventh strike since 1975.

2005 Strike

SEPTA's contracts with its transportation employees in the City, Victory, and Frontier Divisions expired in April and May 2005. After working without a contract for the next few months, the Transport Workers Union Local 234 and the United Transportation Union Local 1594 set a final deadline of October 31, 2005 at 12:01 AM, at which point the unions would strike if a new deal was not reached. The main disagreement between SEPTA management and union leadership was regarding employees' contributions to their health insurance premiums.

Before the strike, SEPTA tried to negotiate with the union, offering them a new deal whereby SEPTA union employees would pay 5% of their salary towards healthcare costs. The SEPTA unions refused the offer, arguing that when cost of living increases and inflation were factored in, its members would actually make less money than they had before. Negotiators walked out of contract negotiations minutes before the 12:01 AM deadline when they failed to reach an agreement.

Shortly after midnight on the morning of October 31, the unions called a strike. All employees in the City, Victory, and Frontier Divisions walked off the job, resulting in a complete suspension of service on all bus, trolley, and subway lines. Service on the regional rail division continued according to contingency plans, with service added to certain stations to help transport displaced city and suburban division passengers. This work stoppage stranded approximately 400,000 riders daily, impacting around 1,000,000 rides daily, forcing commuters to carpool, walk, or arrange other alternative methods of transportation. In addition, over 27,000 public school students who receive free or subsidized transit tokens were forced to miss school completely or have their days cut short due to transportation issues.

In the early morning of November 7, 2005, a preliminary agreement was reached between SEPTA management and union leadership, ending the strike. Service on all affected transit lines was fully restored by the late afternoon. This agreement was due in large part to the intervention by former Philadelphia mayor, and current Pennsylvania governor, Ed Rendell.

2007 Transfer Disputes

In 2007, as part of a new budget-balancing proposal, SEPTA proposed eliminating bus transfers. This would have resulted in an 80% fare increase for many riders. Because SEPTA has been unable to provide a statistical need for the elimination, they have been forced to hold off.

2009 Strike

SEPTA's contracts with its transportation employees in the City, Victory and Frontier Divisions expired in March and April 2009. On October 25, 2009, the Transport Workers Union Local 234 voted for SEPTA to go on strike at 12:01 AM by October 31, 2009, if no new contract deal was made. The strike was initially averted after Governor Ed Rendell threatened to cut state funding should the strike occur. Another reason the strike was postponed was due to the 2009 World Series games being hosted by the Philadelphia Phillies.

However, at 3:00 AM on November 3, 2009, TWU 234 surprised the public by officially going on strike without notice. On the subject of the hardships imposed by the surprise strike on Philadelphians, Willie Brown, president of Transport Workers Union Local 234, said "I understand I'm the most hated man in Philadelphia right now. I have no problem with that".Victory Division service is not affected by the SEPTA 2009 Strike, but buses are operating on temporary changes, including the temporary discontinuation of route 116. On, November 4, 2009, TWU 234 strikers blocked buses from leaving Victory Depot and SEPTA's 69th St Terminal, letting one out every 40 minutes.

SEPTA was offering an 11.5-percent increase over five years. That included no raise in the first year, although workers would have received a $1,250 signing bonus.

This strike ended on November 9, 2009 at 12:45 am, with service gradually restored beginning 4am.

Union Criticism

Some believe that Transport Workers Union Local 234 is being unduly greedy for going on strike in face of what's offered in the contract offering them pay increases and signing bonuses.

Individual citizens of Philadelphia have been decrying and even protesting the actions of SEPTA and of Local Union 234, in the words of one resident: "I want the SEPTA corporation and the union to settle now! This is a time of recession! How dare you?".

Commuter Reaction

Many programs have sprung up across the city including Shuttle service provided by the City of Philadelphia for its municipal workers and shuttles provided by hotels .Since the strike began, the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia has reported a 38 percent rise in commuting by bicycle .Additionally, many many High School Students are finding biking to be a viable replacement for SEPTA bus service partially because of the availability of secure places to store bikes as advocated by schools and clubs such as Central High School of Philadelphiamarker's Cycling Club.


SEPTA is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors.

  • The City of Philadelphia appoints two members; one member is appointed by the Mayor, the other by the City Council President. These two board members can veto any item that is approved by the full SEPTA board because the city represents more than two-thirds of SEPTA's local subsidy, fare revenue, and ridership. However, the veto may be overridden with the vote of at least 75% of the full board within 30 days.

  • Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County appoint two members each. These members are appointed by the County Commissioners in Bucks, Chester, and Montgomery County and by the County Council in Delaware County.

  • The majority and minority leaders of the two houses of the Pennsylvania State Legislature (the Senate and the House of Representatives) appoint one member each, for a total of four members.

The day-to-day operations of SEPTA are handled by the General Manager, who is appointed and hired by the Board of Directors. The General Manager is assisted by nine department heads called Assistant General Managers.

The present General Manager is Joseph M. Casey, who had served as the authority's Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer until his appointment as General Manager in 2008. Past General Managers include Faye L. M. Moore, Joseph T. Mack, John "Jack" Leary, Lou Gambaccini, and David L. Gunn. Past acting General Managers include James Kilcur and Bill Stead.

Routes and ridership

Rapid transit

  • Market–Frankford Line (Blue Line): subway and elevated line from the Frankford Transportation Center (rebuilt in 2003) in the Frankfordmarker section of Philadelphia to 69th Street Terminalmarker in Upper Darbymarker, via Center City Philadelphia. Weekday ridership averaged 178,715 in 2006.
  • Broad Street Line and Broad–Ridge Spur (Orange Line): subway line along Broad Street in Philadelphia from Fern Rock Transportation Center to Pattison Avenue/Sports Complex, via Center City Philadelphia. Weekday ridership averaged 114,816 in 2006.

Trolley and light rail

SEPTA trolley.
  • Subway–Surface Trolley Lines (Green Line): five trolley routes - 10, 11, 13, 34, and 36 - that run in a subway in Center City and fan out along on street-level trolley tracks in West and Southwest Philadelphia. Daily ridership averaged 55,463 in 2006.
  • Norristown High-Speed Line (Route 100): formerly known as the Philadelphia & Western (P&W) Railroad, this interurban rapid transit was considered a light rail line until 2009, when SEPTA began to consider it a heavy rail line. Daily ridership averaged 8,801 in 2006.
  • Routes 101 and 102 (Suburban Trolley Lines): two trolley routes in Delaware County which run mostly on private rights-of-way but also have some street running. Daily ridership averaged 7,132 in 2006.
  • Routes 15, 23, and 56: Three surface trolley routes that were suspended in 1992. Routes 23 and 56 are currently operated with buses. Trolley service on Route 15 resumed as of September 2005. Route 23 has long been SEPTA's most heavily traveled surface route, with daily ridership averaging 20,113 in 2006.

  • Trackless trolley (Trolleybus): Trackless trolleys (the preferred term for trolley buses in the northeastern USA) operate on routes 59, 66 and 75. Service resumed in spring 2008 after a nearly five-year suspension. Until June 2002, five SEPTA routes were operated with trackless trolleys, using AM General vehicles built in 1978-79. Routes 29, 59, 66, 75 and 79 used trackless trolleys, but were converted to diesel buses starting in 2002 (routes 59, 66, 75) and 2003 (routes 29, 79), for an indefinite period. The elderly AM General trackless trolleys were never returned to service, but in February 2006 SEPTA placed an order for 38 new low-floor trackless trolleys from New Flyer Industries—enough for routes 59, 66 and 75 only—and the first new ("pilot") trackless trolley arrived in June 2007, for testing. The production-series vehicles were delivered between February and August 2008. Trackless trolley service resumed on Routes 66 and 75 on April 14, 2008, and on Route 59 the following day, but was initially limited to just one or two vehicles on each route, as new trolley buses gradually replaced the motorbuses serving the routes over a period of several weeks. The SEPTA board voted in October 2006 not to order additional vehicles for Routes 29 and 79, and those routes permanently became non-electric routes.


SEPTA lists 121 bus routes, not including over 50 school trips, with most routes in the City of Philadelphia proper. Currently, SEPTA generally employs lettered, one and two-digit route numbering for its City Division routes, 90-series and 100-series numbers routes for its Victory ("Red Arrow") Division (Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties) and its Frontier Division (Montgomery and Bucks Counties), 200-series routes for its Regional Rail connector routes (Routes 201, 204, 205 and 206 in Montgomery & Chester Counties), 300-series routes for other specialized and/or third-party contract routes, and 400-series routes for limited service buses to schools within the city of Philadelphia.

Commuter rail

SEPTA's commuter rail service is run by the SEPTA Regional Rail division. This division operates 13 lines serving more than 150 stations covering most of the five county southeastern Pennsylvania region. It also runs trains to Newark, Delawaremarker, Trenton, New Jerseymarker, and West Trenton, New Jerseymarker. Daily ridership averaged over 100,000 in 2006, with 1/3 of ridership on the R5 route between Thorndale, Paoli, Lansdale, and Doylestown.

Most of the cars used on the lines range in vintage from 1963 to 1976. New Silverliner V cars have been ordered but delivery dates remain uncertain due to production delays. The first test cars were to have been delivered in April 2009, however the delivery date has been delayed. The first cars will now not be delivered until 2010, with the full order to remain unfilled until 2011—barring additional delays.

SEPTA divisions

SEPTA has three major operating divisions: City Transit, Suburban, and Regional Rail. These divisions reflect the different transit and railroad operations that SEPTA has assumed.

City Transit Division

The City Transit Division operates routes mostly within the City of Philadelphia, including buses, subway-surface trolleys, the Market-Frankford Line, and the Broad Street Line. Some of its routes extend into Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. This division is the descendant of the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC). There are seven depots in this division: four of these depots only operate buses, one is a mixed bus/trackless trolley depot, one is a mixed bus/streetcar depot, one is a streetcar-only facility.

Bus and trackless trolley routes

Light rail routes

  • Callowhill Depot (buses and streetcars)
  • Elmwood Depotmarker (streetcars only, also used as a station)
  • Frankford Depot (buses and trackless trolleys)
  • Comly Depot (articulated and standard size buses)
  • Midvale Depot (articulated, standard size, and 30-foot buses)
  • Allegheny Depot (articulated and standard size buses)
  • Southern Depot (buses only; SEPTA voted to not have the trackless trolleys return to South Philly)
  • Germantown Depot (30-foot buses and cutaway buses, CCT Oversight (Senior-Disabled) / Phila. Trenton Coach (officially) contract operations)
For latest info on Garages

Suburban Division

Victory District

The Victory District operates suburban bus and trolley (or light rail) routes that are based at 69th Street Terminalmarker in Upper Darbymarker in Delaware County. Its routes include the Norristown High Speed Line (Route 100) light rail line that runs from 69th Street Terminal to Norristown and the SEPTA Surface Media and Sharon Hill Trolley Lines (Routes 101 and 102). This district is the descendant of the Philadelphia Suburban Transportation Company, also known as the Red Arrow Lines. Most residents of the Victory District operating area still refer to this district as the "Red Arrow Division."

Light rail routes

Bus routes

Frontier District

The Frontier District operates suburban bus routes that are based at the Norristownmarker Transportation Center in Montgomery County and bus lines that serve eastern Bucks County. This district is the descendant of the Schuylkill Valley Lines in the Norristown area. SEPTA began operating the Bucks County routes in the 1980s.

Suburban contract operations

Regional Rail division

The Regional Rail Division (RRD) operates 13 commuter railroad routes that begin in Central Philadelphiamarker and radiate outwards, terminating in intra-city, suburban, and out-of-state locations.

This division is the descendant of the six electrified commuter lines of the Reading Company (RDG), the six electrified commuter lines of Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR, later Penn Central: PC) railroads, and the new Airport line constructed by the City of Philadelphiamarker between 1974 and 1984.

With the construction and opening of the Center City Commuter Connection Tunnel in 1984, lines were paired such that a former Pennsylvania Railroad line was coupled with a former Reading line. Seven such pairings were created and given route designations numbered R1 through R8 (with R4 not used). As a result, the routes were originally designed so that trains would proceed from one outlying terminal to Center City, stopping at 30th Street Stationmarker, Suburban Stationmarker, and Market East Stationmarker, then proceed out to the other outlying terminal assigned to the route. Since ridership patterns have changed since the implementation of this plan, numerous exceptions exist, e.g. R6 Cynwyd line trains from Cynwyd terminate at Suburban station and do not proceed to Norristownmarker, while R6s from Norristown often continue through center city as R2s.

The out-of-state terminals offer connections (and potential connections) with other transit agencies. The R7 Trenton line offers connections in Trenton, New Jerseymarker to NJ Transit or Amtrak for travel to New York Citymarker. Plans exist to restore NJT service to West Trenton, New Jerseymarker, thus offering a future alternate to New York via the R3 West Trenton line and NJT. Another plan offers a connection for travel to Baltimoremarker and Washington DCmarker via MARC, involving extensions of the SEPTA R2 from Newark, Delawaremarker, an extension of MARC's Penn service from Perryville MDmarker, or both.

SEPTA's railroad reporting mark SPAX can be seen on non-revenue work equipment including boxcars, diesel locomotives, and other rolling stock.

SEPTA equipment


In 1982, SEPTA made its largest-ever order of buses: the Neoplan USA order, which was at the time also that company's largest order. Over the years, these buses have made their way all around the system. SEPTA changed its specifications on new bus orders each year. The Neoplan AK’s (8285–8410), which were SEPTA’s first order of Neoplans, had longitudinal seating: all of their seats face towards the aisle. However, their suburban counterparts (8411–8434) had longitudinal seating only in the rear of the bus. The back door has a wheelchair ramp, which forced SEPTA to limit their use and specify wheelchair-lift operations on the authority's next order of coaches. These units also sported a nine-liter 6v92 engine and Allisonmarker HT-740 transmission.

In 1983, SEPTA would join forces with other transit operators in Pennsylvania in an order of 1000 buses from Neoplan of various lengths. SEPTA would ultimately receive 450 of these buses, of which 425 were 40-foot buses (8435-8584 and 8601-8875), which came without wheelchair lifts, and 25 buses that were 35 foot buses (1301-1325).

In 1986, SEPTA would buy more Neoplans on its own, and these began to arrive in early 1987. The first two groups (3000-3131 and 3132-3251) came without wheelchair lifts, but the last two groups, the first arriving in late 1987 (3252-3371), and a second group that arrived in 1989 (3372-3491), would have rear wheelchair lifts. All Neoplans built between 1986 and 1989 were equipped with a ZF 5HP-590 transmission.

By the early 1990s, SEPTA had 1,092 Neoplan An440 coaches in active service, making the Philadelphia operation the largest transportation authority in North America with a fleet mainly manufactured by Neoplan USA. These buses dominated the streets of Philadelphia through late 1997, when the earlier fleet of AK/BD Neoplans (8285–8581) was replaced by a series of 400 buses built by North American Bus Industries (NABI). More retirements occurred as SEPTA received its low-floor fleet, with the last ones retired in June 2008.

The Neoplan model has not entirely vanished from Philadelphia's streets, since SEPTA contracted with Neoplan in 1998 to build a fleet of 155 articulated buses, the first of which began to arrive in late 1999. By the summer of 2000, all were in service.

As part of the procurement process that produced the articulated buses, SEPTA also went into smaller buses. This was manifested in an order of 80 buses from National-Eldorado (4501-4580), the first of which began to arrive in late 2000. Most of these buses are on suburban routes, but a group of them is in use in the "LUCY" service in the University City section of West Philadelphia, in a special paint scheme, and a number of them are on lighter lines within Philadelphia.

Also, a group of buses called "cutaways" was purchased. These buses were built on Ford van chassis, with bodies similar to those seen on car rental shuttles at various airports. These buses were retired around 2003 and replaced with slightly larger cutaway buses on a Freightliner truck chasis.

The last, which has steered SEPTA into a new era, was the low-floor bus. After evaluating sample buses in the 1995-96 period from New Flyer and NovaBus, an order was placed with New Flyer for 100 low-floor buses (5401-5500). A pilot bus arrived in January 2001, and production models arrived in the autumn of 2001. More purchases arrived from 2002 to 2005, with the 2002-2004 buses being numbered 5501-5600, 5613-5830, and 5851-5950. The 2005 arrivals were numbered 8000-8119, these numbers presumably chosen so as not to run into the 6000's, which had been reserved for an order of commuter coaches from Motor Coach Industries that SEPTA eventually did not pursue.

SEPTA has placed an order for 400 New Flyer hybrid bus - with options for up to 80 additional buses - to replace the NABI Ikarus buses at the end of their 12-year life span. These will not be the first hybrid buses, since SEPTA purchased two small groups of hybrids, 5601H-5612H, which arrived in 2003, and 5831H-5850H, which came in 2004. Before the 2008 purchase, SEPTA would borrow an MTA New York City Transit Orion hybrid to evaluate it in service. While in use for SEPTA, it bore the number 3999. After evaluation, it resumed its New York identity. The first of these hybrids arrived in late 2008, and by early spring 2009, all were in service. SEPTA was the first to purchase New Flyer DE41LFs equipped with roof-top HVAC units.

Advertising Revenue

Although transit authorities earn revenue from advertisements placed on buses, SEPTA earns more advertising revenue from advertisements placed on the backs of its buses. As the result, SEPTA buses are mainly equipped with a roof-top HVAC, and with their rear route-number sign mounted close to the roof, so they can have the space for rearadvertisements—especially on the 2008-2009 New Flyer DE41LFs and future orders. An Example of Rear advertising used on SEPTA's DE41LF and D40LF buses

Bus Assignments

Image:SeptaBUS.jpg|One of SEPTA's articulated NEOPLAN AN460 busesImage:5733-MorelandRd-2-22-06.jpg|The new face of SEPTA's bus fleet which is the New Flyer D40LF.Image:SEPTA LRVs at the maintenance facility, 1993.jpg|Single-end Kawasaki trolleys waiting in the yard in 1993.Image:2008_New_FLyer_E40LFR.jpg|One of SEPTA's New Flyer E40LFR trackless trolleys
Year Make Model Length
(ft / mm)
(in / mm)
Numbers Buses in active service Engine Transmission Districts Assigned Notes
1996-1997 American Ikarus/NABI 416.08TA 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5001-5400

325 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allisonmarker B400 Callowhill, Comly, Frankford, Midvale, Southern, Victory, Frontier Buses in process of being retired and to be replaced by New Flyer DE41LF hybrids between now and 2012
1998-2000 Neoplan USA AN460OQ 60 / 18,288 102 / 2,591 7101-7255 155 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B500 Allegheny, Comly, Midvale  
2001 New Flyer D40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5401-5500 100 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400 Callowhill, Comly, Southern, Victory 5401 was built in 2000  
2001 ElDorado Transmark RE29 29 / 8,839 96 / 2,438 4501-4581 79 Cummins ISB Allison B300 Midvale, Frontier, Germantown 4581 was a replacement bus for 4539, which was retired due to fire damage. 4579 lost in a fire.
2002 New Flyer D40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5501-5600 100 Detroit Diesel Series 50 Allison B400 Comly, Frankford, Midvale, Victory New Flyers 5599-5600 have USSC seats like the 2004 New Flyers.
2002 New Flyer DE40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5601H-5612H 12 Cummins ISL Allison E drive Southern SEPTA's first diesel-electric hybrid buses
2003 New Flyer D40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5613-5712 100 Cummins ISL 280 Allison B400 Midvale, Victory, Frontier Originally delivered with Detroit Diesel Series 50 engine
2004 New Flyer D40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5713-5830,
218 Detroit Diesel Series 50 ZF6HP-592 Allegheny, Callowhill, Frankford, Midvale, Southern, Victory, Fromtier 5724 was retrofit with Cummins ISL 280 engine; balance of fleet tentatively scheduled to receive ISL 280, but no timetable has been set
2004 Champion (Freightliner FB-65 chasis) Defender 27 / 8,230 96 / 2,438 2070-2097 26 Caterpillar C7 Allison 1000 Germantown/private One bus damaged by fire; unknown vehicle number, some of these units are slated to be scrapped, used for private transit contractors or sold.
2004 New Flyer DE40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 5831H-5850H 20 Cummins ISL 280 Allison E drive Southern  
2005 New Flyer D40LF 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 8000-8045, 8047-8119 119 Cummins ISL 280 ZF 6HP-592 Southern 8046 retired due to fire damage
2007 Champion (Chevrolet C4500 chasis) Challenger 27 / 8,230 96 / 2,438 2098-2099 2 Duramax Diesel 6.6L Allison 1000PTS Germantown/private Built to replace buses from the 2070–2097 batch lost to fire
2007-2008 New Flyer E40LFR 40 / 12,192 102 / 2,591 800-837 38 Cummins QSB 4.5 (emergency backup) Vossloh-Kiepe Propulsion Equipment Frankford Trackless trolleys (trolley buses), for use on routes 59, 66 and 75. These trolley buses have LED lighting like the 2009 New Flyer DE41LFs.
2008 New Flyer DE41LF 41 / 12,497 102 / 2,591 8120-8219 100 Cummins ISL 280 Allison E Drive Callowhill, Comly, Victory, Frontier  
2009 New Flyer DE41LF 41 / 12,497 102 / 2,591 8220-8339 120 Cummins ISL 280 Allison E Drive Midvale, Allegheny, Frankford These buses have LED lighting unlike their 2008 counterparts.


Year Make Model Length
(ft / mm)
(in / mm)
Gauge Numbers
1981-1983 Kawasaki B-IV single-ended 67.5 / 20,574 121.5 / 3,086 Standard gauge 501-576
1981-83 Kawasaki B-IV double-ended 67.5 / 20,574 121.5 / 3,086 651-699
1996-1999 Adtranz M4 55 / 16,764 110 / 2,974 1001-1032 1035-1220

Light Rail

Year Make Model Length (ft / mm) Width (in / mm) Gauge Numbers
(rebuilt 2003)
St. Louis Car PCC II 46 / 14,021 96 / 2,438 2320-2337
1981 Kawasaki K-Car Suburban LRV 53 / 16,154 102 / 2,591 100-129
1981 Kawasaki K-Car Subway-Surface LRV 49 / 14,935 102 / 2,591 9000-9111
1993 ABB N-5 Norristown 65 / 19,812 107 / 2,718 130-155

Regional Rail

Image:Septa269.jpg|Silverliner II No. 269 still carrying "PENNSYLVANIA" name boards.Image:Septa 145 1993, near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.jpg|Eastbound SEPTA 145 making a station stop in Paolimarker, in 1993.Image:SEPTA Silverliner II.jpg|Train of Silverliner II and III cars entering the Temple Universitymarker station in May 2006.
Year Make Model Numbers Total Hp Tare
Seats Remarks
1963 Budd Silverliner II 201-209, 211-219,
251-256, 258-264, 266-269,

52 of 56 active *Note - 9003 involved in collision with work train January 27, 2009, status and damage not yet known, 257 caught fire Nov 4, 2009. Cause under investigation. 624 50.7/46.1 124-127 200 series cars are former Pennsylvania Railroad cars. 9000 series cars are former Reading Railroad cars.
1967 St. Louis Car Silverliner III 220-223, 225-239 19 of 20 active 624 50.7/46.1 122 (232-239 seat 90) Former Pennsylvania Railroad cars used on what is now the Keystone Service with left-side cabs, instead of standard right-side cabs; 232-239 formerly dedicated cars for the R1 Airport Line.
1974-76 GE Silverliner IV 101-188, 306-399,
417-460 (married pairs)
276-305, 400-416
(single cars)

231 of 232 active Not known 62.5/56.8 125 400-series units are cars renumbered from lower series or from Reading Railroad cars 9018–9031 when PCB transformers were replaced with silicone transformers.
1987 EMD AEM7 2301-2307 7 7,000 101/91.9 Locomotive Locomotives for push-pull trains
1987 Bombardier SEPTA I 2401-2410 (cab cars)
2501-2516 (trailer)
10 cab cars
25 trailers
Push-pull 50/45.4 118
(cab cars)

Push-pull coaches hauled by locomotives.
1995 ABB ALP-44 2308 1 7000 99.2/90.2 Locomotive Locomotive for push-pull trains. Delivered as a result of a settlement agreement for late delivery of N-5 cars.
1999 Bombardier SEPTA II 2550-2559 10 trailers Push pull 50/45.4 117 These cars have a center door, and are used in push-pull service.
2008 Pullman Standard Comet I 1 cab, 6 coaches Push pull 50/45.4 118
(cab car)

Push-pull cars originally built c. 1971 for NJDOT. Purchased from NJ Transit for added seating.
2010- Rotem Silverliner V 701-739 Single Cars (Double Ended), 801-883 Married Pair Units 120 62.5/56.8 110 Replacements for 1963 Budd and 1967 St. Louis Car MU cars.

Maintenance-of-way vehicles

  • C-145 snow sweeper 1923
  • Harsco Track Technologies Corporation work car
  • PCC work car 2194
  • SEPTA Railroad OPS-3161 work car
  • W-56 work Car
  • W-61 work Car
  • 1033-1034 Market Frankford line Work Cars

Retired vehicles

SEPTA Neoplan An440EZ 3374
List updated June 2008:


Railroad cars and trolleys

  • 1906-1911 Market Street el' cars, #1-135, Pressed Steel Car Co., Class A-8 (M1)
  • 1911-1913 Market Street el' cars, #136-215, J.G. Brill Co., Class A-8 (M1)
  • 1922 Frankford el' cars, #501-600, J.G. Brill Co., Class A-15 (M2)
  • 1960 Budd el' cars, #601-646, Budd Co., Class A-49 (M3)
  • 1960 Budd el' cars, #701-743, Budd Co., Class A-50 (M3)
  • 1960 Budd el' cars, #702-924, Budd Co., Class A-51 (M3)
  • 1960 Budd el' cars, #745-923, Budd Co., Class A-50 (M3)
  • 1928 North Broad subway cars, #1-150, J.G. Brill Co. (B1)
  • 1938 South Broad subway cars, #151-200, Pressed Steel Car Co. (B3)
  • 1936 Bridge Line subway cars, #1001-1026, J.G. Brill Co. (B2), acquired second-hand from DRPA (Delaware River Port Authority) subsidiary PATCO (Port Authority Transit Corporation)
  • 1927 to 1929 J.G. Brill and Company Strafford Cars
  • St. Louis Car Company Ex-CTA Cars
  • 1932 to 1933 J.G. Brill and Company Master Unit Cars
  • 1940 J.G. Brill and Company Brillliners
  • 1926 J.G. Brill and Company Center Door
  • 1949 St. Louis Car Company Interurbans
  • 1941 St. Louis Car Company Liberty Liners
  • 1940 to 1942 PCC Air Cars
  • 1946 to 1948 PCC All-Electrics

Maintenance facilities

  • 69th Street Yard (Market-Frankford Line)
  • Allegheny Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
  • Berridge Shops (formerly Wyoming Shops) (Bus Maintenance and Overhauls)
  • Callowhill Depot (City Transit Division/Bus and Streetcar)
  • Comly Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
  • Elmwood Depot (City Transit Division/Streetcar)
  • Fern Rock Yard (Broad Street Line)
  • Frankford Depot (City Transit Division/Bus and Trackless Trolley)
  • Frazer Yard (Regional Rail Push and Pull sets)
  • Frontier Depot (Suburban Transit Division/Bus)
  • Germantown Brakes Maintenance Facility (Bus Maintenance/Trenton-Philadelphia Coach (officially)or Contract Operations-bus for government agencies and senior or disabled person transportation oversight (CCT))
  • Midvale Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
  • Overbrook Maintenance Facility (Regional Rail)
  • Powelton Yard (Regional Rail)
  • Roberts Yard (Regional Rail)
  • Southern Depot (City Transit Division/Bus)
  • Woodland Maintenance Facility (Streetcar Overhaul and Repairs)
  • Victory Depot (69th Street) (Suburban Transit Division/Bus and Rail)
  • Bridge Street Yard (Market-Frankford Line)

Connecting transit agencies in the Philadelphia region

Local services
SEPTA Market-Frankford Line at 52nd Street Station.

Regional services

National and international services
  • Amtrak provides rail service between Philadelphia (at 30th Street Station) and points beyond SEPTA's range, including Lancastermarker, Harrisburgmarker, Pittsburghmarker, and Chicagomarker to the west, Baltimoremarker and Washington, D.C.marker to the southwest, and New Yorkmarker, Bostonmarker, and Montrealmarker to the northeast. Amtrak's service overlaps to some degree with the R2, R5, and R7 lines. In addition to 30th Street Station, shared Amtrak/SEPTA Regional Rail stations include Wilmingtonmarker and Newarkmarker on the R2, Ardmoremarker, Paolimarker, Extonmarker, and Downingtownmarker on the R5, and North Philadelphia, Cornwells Heightsmarker, and Trenton on the R7. Amtrak is faster than SEPTA, but significantly more expensive, particularly for services along the Northeast Corridor.
  • Greyhound and a variety of interregional bus operators, most of which are part of the Trailways system, stop at the Philadelphia Greyhound Terminal. In addition to being adjacent to Market East Station, the terminal is one block from the Market-Frankford Line 11th Street stationmarker and various SEPTA bus routes. Major destinations served with one seat rides to/from the terminal include Allentownmarker, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Newark marker, New York, Pittsburghmarker, Readingmarker, Scrantonmarker, Washington, and Wilmington. In addition, six NJ Transit bus routes (313, 315, 316, 317, 318, and 551) originate and terminate from this terminal.
  • Philadelphia International Airportmarker is served by many airlines with flights to various national and international points. SEPTA serves the airport with local bus service and with a special regional rail line from Center City, the Route R1 Airport line.

See also


  2. Fox 29
  5. Fox 29
  13. Trolleybus Magazine No. 275 (Sep.-Oct. 2007), p. 119. National Trolleybus Association (UK). ISSN 0266-7452.
  14. Trolleybus Magazine No. 280 (July-Aug. 2008), p. 95.
  15. Trolleybus Magazine No. 271 (Jan.-Feb. 2007), p. 23.
  20. The body-shells were manufactured in Australia - See ADtranz Exports Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March, 1998 pp112-117

Further reading

External links




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