Economic Vitality includes goals that expand SEPTA’s positive economic impact by formulating sustainability best management practices, bringing new financial resources to bear and growing ridership throughout the region.
The following goals and targets are summarized from SEP-TAINABLE 2020, and will be updated in a subsequent planning effort that is currently underway.
Increase Passenger Trips Per Capita by 6% by 2020
Growing ridership makes both SEPTA and the region more sustainable. SEPTA is responsible for transporting 1 million passenger trips across Southeastern Pennsylvania each weekday. For SEPTA, ridership growth means more cost-effective service. For the region, ridership growth means lower emissions from fewer cars on the road and reduced traffic congestion. During FY2019, SEPTA collaborated on a total of 31 planning efforts and led the following 3 planning studies:
From baseline year FY2015 to FY2019, SEPTA’s normalized ridership decreased by 12%. SEPTA has experienced gradual bus ridership loss since 2012, which is consistent with trends across the transit industry. To encourage ridership, SEPTA is committed to developing programs and initiatives that make public transit the preferred mode of transportation for visitors and residents of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
Improve Operating Expense Performance
Outperform Industry Annualized Growth Rate
Operating expense per trip is used as a measure of SEPTA’s economic efficiency, and can be evaluated by comparing the cost of SEPTA’s operations to the rest of the transportation industry. SEPTA has traditionally spent less money to operate services for unlinked passenger trips than peer agencies in the United States, and SEPTA is committed to continuously outperform the industry in the future.
SEPTA calculates its operating expenditure by adding all of the expenses used to operate its transportation services, including overhead. This includes costs of fuel for buses, electricity for buildings and rail cars, and salaries of the employees who operate and maintain the vehicles. SEPTA’s sustainability programs and initiatives yield savings that help to lower operating costs, which is important to ensure that SEPTA remains economically viable and is able to continue to offer low-cost fares to customers.
Institutionalize Environmental Management Practices
1. Achieve ISO 14001 Certification at 2 SEPTA Facilities
2. Institute and Complete an Environmental Management Checklist for Capital Projects by 2020
Successful environmental management practices mitigate risks to employees and the natural environment, and reduce both financial and material waste. SEPTA’s Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) provides tools to ensure successful business operations while meeting or exceeding environmental compliance obligations.
ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management. Achieving ISO 14001 certification is a signal to regulators, vendors, legislators, and community members that SEPTA takes its commitments to the environment seriously. The Berridge bus and print shops have been continually ISO 14001 certified since 2013. In December 2018, SEPTA achieved its goal of earning ISO 14001 certification at a second location, Wayne Junction Complex, home to the Wayne electric railcar shop, traction power, and signal maintenance functions. Both facilities have since been re-certified via regular annual audits.
SEPTA continues to evaluate design standards and construction guidelines in order to strengthen language that promotes building efficiency and waste reductions in both construction and operations.
Financial Value of Sustainability
Grow Positive Financial Impacts of Sustainability Initiatives
SEPTA’s triple bottom line approach to sustainability requires initiatives that improve environmental and social sustainability to also have a positive impact on the financial bottom line. This principle is grounded in an effort to rigorously track and report on the financial impact of Sustainability Program implementation. By tracking and transparently reporting key indicators of financial impact, SEPTA has demonstrated over the years that sustainability has a net-positive impact on the business.