On July 24, 2014, BREE & Associates, Inc., along with John Merrigan of SEPTA, coordinated a tour of SEPTA’s control room for our summer interns and also invited the local COMTO interns along. To many people SEPTA, or Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, is just a means of transportation; a way to get to work, to school, or to get around the busy city that is Philadelphia. Most people only have the opportunity to interact with the drivers of trolleys, buses, or trains, and don’t really realize the extent of operations that occur behind the scenes to ensure that things run smoothly. This day we learned all about that. Since SEPTA is such a big part of Philadelphian lifestyle, BREE staff and interns were ecstatic to learn more about the operations that keep us motile. For the tour we were taken into the control room, and introduced to the people who make SEPTA efficient. Our wonderful tour guide, Michaeleen Benson, Director of Transportation (Bus), was full of fascinating information just as much as our interns were full of curious questions. Many of these questions were centered on the individual’s personal experience riding SEPTA. Everyone was able to reference their specific route or method of getting home from work every day. “When my bus or train is running late, is there a way to track it or talk to someone who can inform me on when it will come?” According to Ms. Benson there’s actually a link on the SEPTA website that can show you the buses and trains in real time which is perfect for tracking! You can also talk directly to the employees who can tell you exactly when your bus is coming by calling the number shown on the bus stop. These questions and answers definitely shows how vital transportation is to each of us and the importance of an efficiently run system, such as SEPTA. Towards the end of the tour, we ended up in the WAR room, where Senior officials of SEPTA meet to discuss emergency operations and major events, such the Pope coming to Philadelphia. During his time here in September, some SEPTA employees will be required to spend the night to make sure everything is in perfect order. Now that’s dedication! Thanks to these dedicated employees, almost everywhere in Philadelphia is accessible. You know how they say America runs on Dunkin? Well Philly runs on SEPTA!
A special thank you to our valued client, SEPTA, and their gracious staff for hosting our firm.