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SEPTA Shows Its Green On Earth Day

This spring, the effort to improve our environment marks a major milestone - the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day. SEPTA is joining in the fun, and pledging to continue work aimed at greening our region.

To celebrate Earth Day, marked Thursday, April 22, SEPTA and the Mural Arts Program washed transit-themed green messages onto pollution-soiled sidewalks around City Hall.

Local artist Josh "lejosh" Smith, assisted by Mural Arts crew Nathaniel Lee and Seth Turner, used a power washer and large aluminum stencils to write messages - "Less Car, More Karma" and "Fresh Hybrid Buses, Fresh Clean Air" - inspiring green living through riding public transit.

This "reverse graffiti" method created "Go Green, Go SEPTA" art that engaged passersby - and encouraged them to "take a walk on the green side" by using SEPTA to get to work, school and everywhere in-between.

With more people on the rails, buses and trolleys, and less cars on the roads, harmful greenhouse gas emissions go down, and everyone benefits from cleaner air, water, and overall quality of life. Adding to this, SEPTA is moving full-speed ahead with its "Go Green" mission, which includes - just to name a couple - replacing old diesel buses with lower-emission diesel-electric hybrids, and greening the system with regenerative energy technology. These types of efforts have made SEPTA a leader in the effort to make public transit more environmentally friendly.

"Going green has been a focus of public transportation systems nationwide for several years," said American Public Transportation Association (APTA) President William Millar. "Every year U.S. public transportation use reduces our country's carbon footprint by 37 million metric tons of carbon emissions and saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline."

Hopefully, the Earth Day celebrations will help spread the word about these types of benefits will convince some to increase their reliance on public transit. But for those who need more incentive, maybe cold, hard cash will do the trick.

According to a recent APTA study, a Philadelphia area resident saves an average of $11,141 a year on gas and parking by using public transit instead driving for a typical daily commute. That's even better than the national average savings of $9,293.

So, in honor of this historic 40th annivesary Earth Day celebration, SEPTA encourages everyone to do whatever they can to improve the environment - and also "green" their pockets by using public transit.

Mural Arts Program members prepare a City Hall sidewalk for a SEPTA-themed Earth Day event.

Mural Arts Program crew at work.

A power washer helps get the job done.

Preparing finishing touches.

Reinforcing the message, a bus passes by the event advertising SEPTA's Commuter's Choice program.