SEPTA Releases Sustainability Playbook

SEPTA Releases Sustainability Playbook

Authority provides update on sustainability goals

PHILADELPHIA (April 22, 2024) — Today, SEPTA released its Sustainability Playbook which sets forth an ambitious vision, where the Authority ingrains environmental, social and economic best practices in its operations.

“This plan demonstrates SEPTA’s continued commitment of a sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and connected public transportation system,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager, Leslie S. Richards.” We will continue to prioritize sustainability as a core value in everything we do.”

The Sustainability Playbook builds on the SEP-TAINABLE 2020 plan, adopted seven years ago, and provides a new seven-year plan to maximize the impact of sustainability on SEPTA’s business practices, systems, equipment, and facilities.

Significant progress towards sustainability goals:

  • Established Elk Hill 1 and 2, a combined 42-megawatt capacity solar farm, through a virtual power purchase agreement with Lightsource BP. This installation equals approximately 20% of our electricity use systemwide and contributes to a cleaner, regional electric grid in Pennsylvania
  • Added three rooftop solar installations through a power purchase agreement with RWE that have a combined 2.3 MW capacity. Berridge/Wyoming, Fern Rock and Callowhill now produce enough power to cover approximately 15% of the shops’ electricity use 
  • Achieved ISO-14001:2015 Environmental and Sustainability Management System certification at the Wayne Junction complex, promoting sound safety and environmental management of the  facilities
  • Published a Micromobility Playbook, in October 2023, providing a framework to increase ridership by better accommodating riders that use micromobility (including bicycles, scooters, e-devices). The Micromobility Playbook addresses systemwide access to transit stops, expanding station amenities, vehicle and service accommodations, connections to the transportation network and better integration with streets and trails in the region
  • Finalizing the Zero Emissions playbook and developing four Zero Emissions Bus pilots to support data driven decision making

“Public transportation is inherently sustainable as it reduces the number drivers of single occupancy vehicles, which reduces emissions, alleviates congestion and prevents environmental degradation,” said Emily Yates, SEPTA’s Chief Innovation Officer. “This third-generation sustainability plan reinforces our commitment to a sustainable future.”

Specifically, the Playbook aims to build on past successes and achieve ambitious targets by 2030. Plans include:

  • Transitioning both revenue and non-revenue fleet vehicles to zero emissions, and right sizing non-revenue fleet vehicles for efficiency
  • Develop a Climate Resiliency and Adaptation Playbook to identify systems susceptible to the effects of climate change and adaptation measures to mitigate risks
  • Developing a Stormwater Master Plan to address environmental protection, water quality, flood prevention, erosion control and resilience to climate change
  • Removing single use plastics from procurement
  • Expanding SEPTA’s Transit Oriented Communities program to establish three TOCs on SEPTA-owned property to promote ridership through healthy and equitable communities
  • Increasing the current cap of SEPTA’s Small Business Enterprise program from $3,000 to $25,000 for meaningful contract opportunities to small businesses seeking to do business with SEPTA
  • Correlating with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

More information about SEPTA’s sustainability initiatives is available at

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