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Loyal Customer Keeps Riding Into New Century

Having trouble figuring out which bus route is the right one to get you where you need to go? Wondering which trolley best fits your travel plans?

If you're fortunate enough to encounter Upper Darby's Phyllis Gross amid her travels in Delaware County and Philadelphia, you're in luck. She'll be happy to share the knowledge she's gained using SEPTA over the years.

And while you're at it, make sure to wish her a happy birthday.

Ms. Gross just turned 100 years old, and celebrated in grand style at a big party thrown by family and friends. As usual, she helped get the festivities going, with her favorite drink, a Manhattan, in hand. SEPTA was also happy to send along a couple tokens of appreciation, along with birthday wishes from General Manager Joe Casey.

With the celebrating over - for now - Ms. Gross is back to her regular routine, which includes running errands with the help of SEPTA buses and trolleys, and helping keep fellow riders on the right path.

"If you need to go anywhere on SEPTA, Aunt Phyl will tell you what bus or trolley route to take and where to get it," said her nephew, Robert Lynn.

Ms. Gross is enjoying a well-deserved retirement, but that hasn't meant slowing down. She's stayed active in the community, including doing office work as a volunteer with the American Red Cross.

These accomplishments are impressive by any standard, and Ms. Gross has done it all relying on public transit, and her legs. She's never obtained a driver's license. Some relatives think that might be the secret to her long, healthy and active life.