Sustainability at SEPTA is no longer a program unto itself, but a principle upon which the organization has pursued a culture of continual improvement in management. It is a key component of our SEPTA Forward as well as our regional responsibility.

Today, sustainability is the lens through which SEPTA views its impact on the region and holds itself accountable for ensuring an economically prosperous, socially responsible, and environmentally sustainable future.

Vision and Pillars

SEPTA’s sustainability vision ingrains environmental, social, and economic best practices in our operations to demonstrate continued leadership and support an inclusive, resilient, and connected region.

natural environment

Natural Environment

Transit is inherently sustainable. Initiatives to improve performance expands this environmental dividend.

Healthy Communities & Workforce

Transit is equitable. Initiatives to support healthy communities and our workforce reinforce social well-being.

Economic Vitality

Transit drives the economy. Initiatives that support economic vitality help to leverage the region’s density and productivity.

Sustainability Playbook

Emphasizing Sustainability is a main strategy for SEPTA Forward, which calls for an updated sustainability plan and an increase in efforts to do more to protect our environment and secure our region’s future.

SEPTA has 13 goals to advance sustainability. We are looking ahead to 2030 and setting targets for where we want to be. SEPTA is currently engaging with stakeholders to develop an updated sustainability program plan. Email to participate in our planning process.


Offsite Solar Farms

SEPTA formed a partnership with Lightsource BP to generate solar energy through a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA). The project is divided into two parts, Elk Hill 1 and Elk Hill 2, which feed into the regional electric grid. Elk Hill 2 was first to go online in February 2021, with Elk Hill 1 following late 2022. The final capacity of the solar farm is estimated to be 42MW – about 15-20% of SEPTA’s annual electricity demand. Considering SEPTA’s regional rail, trolleys, and subway lines (NHSL/MFL/BSL) run on electricity – this is a significant contributor to SEPTA’s energy needs!

Elk Hill

Rooftop Solar Installations

Solar panels top three SEPTA facilities: the Berridge Bus Maintenance shop, the Fern Rock Rail Shop, and the Callowhill Bus Maintenance facility. These solar installations were established as part of a power purchase agreement and installed between 2020 and 2021. The installations amount to 2.3MW of power that directly feeds into the facilities they cover. SEPTA will prioritize renewable energy and energy efficiency at all new and retrofitted facilities.

fern rock rail
Fern Rock Rail Shop for Broad Street Line
callowhill bus
Callowhill Bus Maintenance Facility
Berridge Bus
Berridge Bus Maintenance, Print & Sign Shop (2nd & Wyoming)

SEPTA is committed to transitioning away from diesel powered buses to ensure a clean, sustainable, and resilient future. The agency is planning for a full transition to all zero-emission buses (ZEBs), which could include a combination of BEBs and FCEBs. SEPTA has developed a Zero-Emission Bus Playbook and a Zero-Emission Bus Facility Analysis that provide planning and analysis to support a full transition by the year 2040.

Zero-Emission Buses will benefit the region by:


Lowering SEPTA’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. This aligns with climate goals from the state of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and others.


Decreasing SEPTA’s emissions of local air pollutants, such as Nitric Oxide (NOx) and fine particulate matter, that cause heart and lung disease. These emissions currently have disproportionate impacts on communities of color and low-income areas in the region.


Drive Innovation: Reducing noise compared to diesel and hybrid buses. Noise pollution impacts the health and well-being of humans and wildlife. The positive impact of these benefits will be broadly shared as bus service makes up 55%-60% of SEPTA’s ridership, serving a large portion of the region.

SEPTA recently released a Micromobility Playbook under SEPTA Forward as an update to the Cycle Transit Plan of 2015. The goal of the playbook was to increase ridership by better accommodating our riders that use micromobility including bicycles, scooters, and other wheeled conveyances, while addressing access, integration, storage, security and safety on SEPTA property and vehicles.

The playbook follows the mission and spirit of SEPTA Forward – to create a seamless and integrated transit network, improve access to transit, emphasize sustainability and provide accessibility for all. The recommendations within the playbook reflect this.

bus with bike rack

A key component of SEPTA’s Sustainability Program implementation strategy focuses on management systems.

  • The Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) allows SEPTA to make the most of funding by making institutional processes more efficient. The ISO 14001:2015 Standard is a toolbox of management techniques to minimize environmental impacts through a method of continual improvement using a “plan-do-check-act” process to realize certain efficiencies.
  • SEPTA’s participation in the FTA’s ESMS training and assistance program reflects its commitment to its sustainability program.
  • SEPTA currently has two maintenance locations certified to the ISO 14001:2015 international standard for environmental management systems: Berridge Shop and Wayne Junction Complex.


Establish the objectives, programs & processes to deliver results in accordance with the environmental policy.



Implement the programs and processes.



Monitor and measure processes against policy, objectives, targets, and requirements, and report the results.



Take actions to continually improve programmatic performance towards objectives and targets

Project Updates

Zero-Emission BusesPilot
Transit Oriented CommunitiesOngoing

Building a Lifestyle Transit Network

As part of our 12-year capital investment program, we’re making stations accessible, acquiring new vehicles, investing in communications, and upgrading services for our buses, Metro, and rail to deliver on our vision of easy to use, frequent, and integrated transit.

Learn More

Learn More About SEPTA and Sustainability at Upcoming Events

Getting to Green: Routes to Roots Exhibit

April 5th – 19th

Cherry Street Pier

Learn More

Earth Day with Amtrak and New Jersey Transit

Wednesday, April 17th

10 am – 1 pm

30th Street Station

Fuel Cell Electric Bus Community Meeting

Saturday, April 20th

10 am – 12 pm

Kroc Center

4200 Wissahickon Avenue

Learn More

PHL Airport Annual Earth Day Celebration

Tuesday, April 23rd

10 am – 2 pm

Terminal B-C

Vanguard Earth Day Event

Wednesday, April 24th

11 am – 1 pm

Malvern, PA 

Retirement Celebration for Last Diesel Bus

Thursday, April 25th

10:30 am – 11 am

1234 Market Street

Multimodal Infrastructure: Walking and Biking and Transit

Wednesday, May 1st

7:30 am – 2 pm

Drexelbrook Events Center

Delaware County TMA Municipalities and Trade Show Conference