New Convenience for Septa Riders

Comcast Exfinity-WiFi Joins Septa

J.Smith/El Hispano

Philadelphia – In an effort to enhance the convenience and accessibility of the region’s mass transit system, Septa officials announced the introduction of a pair of new technology-based amenities, Tuesday, at Septa’s 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby.

   Partnering with Comcast,  the first initiative provides Septa riders free access to XFINITY WiFi service at Regional Rail Stations, including 30th Street Station, 69th Street Station, Market East, Suburban Station, University City and Temple University, a unique feature that sets it apart from other transit systems across the nation.

With Septa riders becoming the “first transit users in the nation” to have free WiFi access, Septa General Manager Joseph Casey noted, “This partnership with Comcast gives our riders a high-quality amenity at no cost to the riders and no cost to Septa.”

Mr. Casey added, that “over the next two years all of the stations along the Market -Frankford and Broad Street lines will have free wireless access.”

   Describing Septa as a “fantastic partner,” Tom Nagel, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Comcast Cable noted that Comcast has already established “thousands of hot-spots in the Philadelphia region.” He added, that Comcast’s goal is to enable consumers to “connect to the internet both inside and outside the home, and WiFi is part of our strategy to help them do that anywhere and at any time.”

  The other new gadgetry launched by Septa was its own, independently-operated Septa App. The App developed out of  a project begun by William Zebrowski, Septa’s Senior Director of Information Technology.  According to Michael Zaleski, Septa Director of Emerging and Specialty Technologies, the App allows Septa to consolidate the data available to Septa’s riders.

   The App will essentially enable commuters to access all of the information on Septa’s website, including, schedules, maps, “finding out the destination of buses,” and if there are “any system detours or alerts that may impact your commute,” noted Mr. Zebrowski.

  Whether Wifi could soon be available rail commuters and riders of the subway, trolley and bus systems, Mr. Zaleski said, “I would love to see that happen and I know there is some investigation into that. But for right now it’s just the stations. But I would love to see WiFi available on vehicles down the road.”

   Does he anticipate increased ridership form the “new convenience, Mr. Zaleski replied, “Definitely.”

     With increased concerns for the environment and rising cost of gas, surveys by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) found that two-thirds of Americans expressed a preference for traveling by rail; a number that swells to 74 percent among the generation of 18 to 24 year- olds.  

  According to APTA, individuals living in urban areas save an average of $9,656 annually by using public transit.

Septa General Manager Joseph Casey   

Looking to appeal to a younger generation that is accustomed to technology, and according to surveys, prefers to use rail and mass transit, Septa partnered with