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Celebrations Mark Major Milestones

The last days of April 2010 will be remembered for milestones at SEPTA, with celebrations marking the completion of a major renovation project, and the Silver Anniversary of a major transit artery.

First up, a big party to mark the 25th anniversary of the launch of service on the Regional Rail's Airport Line. As with any good birthday party, there was plenty of delicious cake, and balloons and decorations lined the platform area.

"SEPTA created the Airport Line to provide a quick, convenient and affordable connection for commuters throughout the region traveling to and from the airport," said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. "We are pleased to see after 25 years we are still connecting people to their destinations."

Among those who joined Casey for the festivities on Wednesday, April 28th was Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who even helped cut the cake.

"Philadelphia International Airport and SEPTA are two of the Philadelphia region's greatest assets," Nutter said. "The airport is an economic engine for the entire region, and SEPTA keeps the region moving."

Less than a day later, it was time to commemorate the end of construction on a major project to rehabilitate the North Philadelphia Station on the Broad Street Line.

As with most celebrations like this, it was marked with a ribbon-cutting and plenty of fanfare. But, SEPTA believes the impact of the the $17.7 million overhaul to this facility is just beginning.

SEPTA embarked on the North Philadelphia Station work as an overall Livable Communities Initiative, with the big-picture concept of improving transportation's critical link to creating vibrant communities. With a revitalized transportation hub at its center, SEPTA believes the groundwork has been laid to encourage growth and development around the North Philadelphia Station.

"SEPTA is a proud member of this community, and we hope our investment at this station will inspire others to share in our vision for the future," Casey said.

The station, which dates back to 1928 as one of the original stops on the Broad Street Line, now boasts state-of-the-art amenities throughout. And to help solidify it as a jewel of the community, special attention was also given to a variety of beautification efforts, such as streetscape improvements and new street-level signs. Entrances and exits were also completely rehabbed for better functionality - and also turned into pieces of art as part of the Art in Transit Program.

Airport CEO Mark Gale, Mayor Nutter and GM Casey kick-off a party to celebrate the Airport Line's 25th anniversary.

Assistant conductors Willie Newton and A.L. Cooper joined in the Silver Annivesary fun.

Airport Line festivities in full swing.

Through the Art In Transit program, North Philadelphia Station entrances and exits were transformed into works of art.

From left: SEPTA Board Member Beverly Coleman; Rev. Clarence Hester; State Senator Shirley Kitchen; GM Casey; Community Leaders Constance Little and Eleanor Brown.