1. Lead 3 Planning Studies per Year
2. Collaborate with 30 External Planning Efforts per Year
SEPTA currently collaborates with non-profit organizations, municipalities and cities to develop comprehensive plans, transportation studies, neighborhood plans, streetscape designs, and station area or transit-oriented development (TOD) plans. These planning efforts help SEPTA and the communities it serves create a shared vision for the future, prioritize capital funding and provide better service to its residents. By enabling and leading efforts to develop well-designed and functional transportation assets, SEPTA spurs economic development by improving access to jobs and services, increasing property values, and reducing the impact of car ownership on household budgets.
Planning Studies: SEPTA assembles several types of planning studies that help create the most effective and influential service. Planning studies include Station Area Plans which enable high-quality, community-supported improvements to SEPTA stations and identify ways to encourage transit-supportive development and improved multi-modal access to stations and recognize how SEPTA's development can help serve the needs of the community. Long-Range Transit Plans are another type of planning study. Long-range plans emphasize comprehensive analysis of existing systems, ridership trends, and demographic analysis to make strategic investments to serve current and future transit needs. Such long-range plans include studies of system expansion, existing facilities improvements to support long-term growth, and analysis of bus service networks.
In FY 2016 SEPTA initiated 1 new planning study and continued 3 ongoing studies.
Collaborative Planning Efforts: SEPTA currently participates in many comprehensive plans, transportation studies, neighborhood plans, streetscape designs, and station area or transit-oriented development (TOD) plans with external parties. All of these studies impact SEPTA and customers in some way, from how a roadway functions to envisioning new development at a train station to recommending new or improved service concepts.
In FY 2016, SEPTA collaborated with 38 external planning efforts.
Host Five Farmers Markets on SEPTA Property by 2020
Many Philadelphians are challenged to access quality fresh food on a regular basis. Often times, finding healthy food requires traveling significant distances or paying more - a particular burden for those living in low-income communities. Transit enables residents to live beyond the constraints of their neighborhood. In addition to opening up distant job markets, SEPTA also is able to increase access to necessities like healthcare and food. In attempts to improve food accessibility, SEPTA hosts several farmers markets on its properties. SEPTA locates these farmers markets in places where large numbers of people board or transfer every day to help provide a way for Philadelphians to more easily access quality fresh food as part of their daily commute.
SEPTA's seventh sustainability goal, to improve food access, is measured by the number of farmers markets SEPTA hosts on their property. Farmers markets ensure that communities, particularly those with low accessibility to healthy, local food, are able to affordably and conveniently purchase produce. At the end of FY 2016, SEPTA has four farmers markets at four of its stations putting SEPTA well on track to achieve its goal of hosting five farmers markets by FY2 2020.
SEPTA also demonstrates its commitment to improving the health, wellness, and food access of its communities through its annual food drive which collects food items and money for Philabundance. Since 2009, SEPTA has held this annual two-week "Stop Hunger at Your Station" drive. This year, donation sites were set up at 43 designated stations, several of which had SEPTA employees accepting food and monetary donations. This year, a specially wrapped "Stop Hunger at Your Station" SEPTA bus toured the region collecting items throughout the two weeks.
The Walnut Hill Community Farm, located on a SEPTA property next to 46th Street Station in West Philadelphia, has been run by The Enterprise Center generating fresh, local produce for community members since its inception in 2010. In 2015 the farm distributed 2,000 lbs of produce to its 125 members and is one of the locations of SEPTA's four farmers markets.
Develop a Highly Skilled, Healthy & Versatile Workforce
Implement Five-Year Human Resources Master Plan
As an employer of more than 9,000 employees, SEPTA strives to support the well-being and professional development of its workforce. As one of the most personnel-intensive organizations in the region, SEPTA must not only look after its current employees but also plan ahead to recruit the next generation of transit leaders. SEPTA's Human Resources Master Plan was developed to ensure SEPTA remains an employer of choice for the next generation of transit professionals while providing a healthy work environment for employees. The master plan is structured based on mapping the "employee experience" and recommends initiatives to close gaps between existing practices.
A key theme in the master plan is transitioning Human Resources operations at SEPTA from "transactional" to "strategic" in seven focus areas. By making this transition, the Human Resources Division will help to advance SEPTA's Strategic Business Plan (FY2015-2019) goal to attract, develop and retain a diverse, healthy and versatile workforce, a crucial step in achieving a vision to become the region's preferred choice for transportation while providing a healthy work environment for employees. In FY 2016, HR identified 23 distinct goals for the HR Master Plan.
Increase FFY 2016 Baseline of Contracting Dollars Committed to Small, Minority and Women-Owned Companies
In light of SEPTA's strong market power in the region, equitable contracting is an important tenant of social sustainability, and because it is the recipient of all contracted and subcontracted work, SEPTA benefits from the successful performance of DBE firms SEPTA is committed to expanding opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses. The DBE program is intended to even the playing field by reducing burdens on small businesses and fostering equal opportunity for the award of SEPTA contracts. By providing DBE certifications and committing to award a certain percentage of SEPTA's annual contract dollars to DBEs, SEPTA is able to provide support to regional small businesses.
SEPTA tracks this goal with the percentage of its contracting dollars awarded to DBEs. This indirectly incorporates the number of DBEs SEPTA is able to certify as well as the more DBEs there are in the area, the more likely one of them will be the best fit for SEPTA's contracting needs. In FFY 2016 SEPTA awarded 16% of its contracting dollars to DBEs, exceeding its federally mandated goal of 14% and putting it on track to meet its FFY2020 goal of 19.2%. This goal is tracked on a federal fiscal year (FFY) as SEPTA has to report its DBE activity within this timeframe.
The roles of SEPTA's DBE Department include certifying new DBEs, certifying continued eligibility for DBEs and helping assign SEPTA's contract to DBEs. SEPTA is one of only three certification bodies in the region making it a crucial resource for small businesses in the area.