The award was actually announced last year, but we totally missed it: SEPTA was awarded the American Public Transportation Association Award for Outstanding Public Transportation System in a major metropolitan area. The award, which Philly.com refers to as the “transit Oscar,” was awarded for a whole list of achievements, including:
>>> $191 million in federal-stimulus-funded projects – $71.2 million for rehabbing 16 transit and railroad stations (including Spring Garden and Girard stations), $61.1 million for repairing/rebuilding tracks and bridges, $23.7 million for communications and signal systems and $20.5 million for new hybrid buses.
>>> $740 million reconstruction of the Market Street El, completely rebuilding West Philadelphia’s century-old, heavily traveled transit system.
>>> $34 million for new rails, improved catenary (overhead power) and station rehabs on Delaware County’s 100-year-old Route 101-102 trolley lines.
>>> $232 million for 440 new fuel-saving hybrid buses, bringing SEPTA’s hybrid total to 472, approximately one third of the 1,400-bus fleet, the highest ratio of hybrid-to-diesel buses of any fleet in the country.
>>> $330 million for 120 new Silverliner V regional-rail cars, built at Hyundai Rotem’s South Philly plant, that replaced 74 Silverliner II’s and III’s from the 1960s. Created 300 local jobs.”
Today, the Daily News broke down the long road that brought SEPTA to this here, and now that SEPTA is pulling in trophies, maybe they’ll get hungry for more and really knock that SmartCard out of the park. We’ll be hoarding tokens, just in case.