The Southeastern Pennsylvania region is built on the strength of our diverse communities and neighborhoods. SEPTA connects people to what makes the region unique. It links the workers, offices, educational institutions, and other resources that makes our region so attractive to businesses. But SEPTA is more than the sum of our parts–we support equity and enhance quality of life by catalyzing the economy, connecting people with opportunity, sustaining our environment, and supporting safe and healthy lifestyles.
Transit is an Economic Engine
SEPTA contributes directly to our region’s economy and spurs broader economic growth. Southeastern Pennsylvania, which covers 5% of Pennsylvania’s land area, accounts for 42% of the Commonwealth’s total economic activity. This degree of economic productivity and density is only possible with transit to efficiently connect people throughout the region.
The Five Counties Are Growing
Southeastern Pennsylvania led the state’s population growth between 2010 and 2019, one-third of which occurred along the Market- Frankford (MFL) and Broad Street (BSL) Lines.
Access to Transit Increases Home Values
Statistical models allow economists to isolate transit’s value through the analysis of housing sales. Access to SEPTA service contributes a premium of $33 billion in housing value, representing 11% of total housing value in Southeastern Pennsylvania.
SEPTA Generates More Than $3 Billion in Annual Statewide Economic Activity
SEPTA has catalyzed additional growth and development across the Southeastern Pennsylvania.
SEPTA drives the economy of Pennsylvania. The five counties of Southeastern Pennsylvania generate 42 percent of the state’s economic activity with 32 percent of its population on just five percent of its land. This degree of economic productivity and density is not possible without transit to efficiently move people throughout the region. The following represents a comprehensive account of SEPTA’s expansive and catalytic economic impact. View impact reports by county: Pennsylvania, Southeastern PA, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and the City of Philadelphia.
Residential Property Value Based on Proximity to SEPTA Rail Transit
Access to rail transit increases property values. Models allow economists to isolate this value through analysis of home sales. On average, residential property values in Southeastern Pennsylvania are 11 percent higher, totaling $33 billion in added home value associated with access to SEPTA’s system. Search for an address on the heat map below to learn more about SEPTA’s positive impact in your community.
SEPTA’S Value Proposition
- Multimodal “Legacy System”
- Created by PA State Legislature in 1964
- 5th Largest Mass Transit System in the U.S.
- 2,800 Vehicles
- 9,500 Employees
- $1.4B Operating Budget
- $675M Capital Budget
Transit Promotes Equity
Transit is an economic equalizer that preserves affordability and access to opportunity in a growing region–serving as an important catalyst for an equitable future. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, SEPTA proved that transit is an essential service. Without SEPTA, shelves don’t get stocked, hospitals aren’t cleaned, and the sick aren’t cared for. Our region’s essential workers, who are more likely to be low-income, people of color, need transit to do their jobs.
Transit is Inherently Sustainable
A sustainable future depends on transit. Across the United States, transportation is the largest source of carbon emissions, accounting for 28% of all emissions. In Philadelphia, transportation only represents 25% of carbon emissions thanks to a culture of low and no-carbon travel, including mass transit. SEPTA subway, trolley, and Regional Rail emit less than half as many greenhouse gasses per passenger mile as a single-occupancy car.
Lower CO-2 emissions
Per passenger mile traveled
…Result in GHG emissions from
transportation that are 10%
below the national average
Transit Supports Safe and Healthy Lifestyles
SEPTA improves the region’s health and helps create safer streets. As transit travel increases, traffic fatalities decrease –bus and rail transit are 10 times safer than driving while Regional Rail is 18 times safer than driving. Transit usage is a critical component of the region’s Vision Zero initiatives to eliminate deaths and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes.
This data and information are continually updated as new information becomes available.