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Aloha from SEPTA

Heather Redfern
SEPTA Press Officer

Need to take a late winter break to a tropical paradise, but don't want to pay for airfare and a hotel? A'ole pilikia - no problem. Say "aloha" to SEPTA and you will be on your way.

For the ninth consecutive year, the Transit Gift Store at SEPTA's 1234 Market Street Headquarters is celebrating the Philadelphia International Flower Show by decorating its display window to represent the event's theme - this year it is "Hawaii: Islands of Aloha". The display is SEPTA's entry into the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society's annual "Phlower Power" Window Decorating Contest.

The "Aloha from SEPTA" window depicts one of the Authority's buses traveling from Center City to an island retreat, with golden sand, Tiki bar and, of course, bright flowers. The concept was developed by employees Kelly Torok, market researcher and visual display coordinator, and George Rice, Transit Gift Store associate.

"The theme demonstrates that, by taking a SEPTA bus, train or trolley, you can be transported to Hawaii, via the Flower Show," said Torok. "Not only is SEPTA a convenient way to see paradise, it is also the most economical way to get there."

The entry is the Transit Store's biggest contest display ever. And like the beautiful Hawaiian flora, it didn't blossom overnight. "I started researching the theme right after the last flower show ended," said Rice. "We really got into the planning process about two months ago, putting our ideas into action and working with our Graphics Department and the Sign Shop." The final vision took three days to install.

The challenge of the contest is not only to promote the Flower Show's theme through decorations, but to also incorporate the service or product the presenting company provides. To accomplish the transportation angle of SEPTA's entry, Torok made the window dressing a family affair. "My husband, Derek, is a contractor and I 'volunteered' him to make the bus for the display," she said.

The Transit Gift Store's window is on display now through the end of the Flower Show (the show will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 4-11). The public can vote for SEPTA's entry in the "Fan Favorite" category by liking the Flower Show on Facebook, viewing the Window Decorating Contest's photo album and selecting the Transit Store's photo.

Using SEPTA is a great way to travel to the Flower Show and avoid hefty parking fees and traffic congestion. Individual and Family Independence Passes offer unlimted one-day travel on SEPTA services (Independence Passes may not be used on Regional Rail trains arriving in Center City Philadelphia weekdays before 9:30 a.m.). Independence Passes may be purchased through; at any Regional Rail ticket office or our five major transit sales offices; the lobby sales office at 1234 Market Street; the Transit Gift Store; and from the Greater Valley Forge TMA at King of Prussia Mall. The Independence Pass may also be purchased on-board any Regional Rail train from a conductor. For more information, click here.

Customers can also receive a discount off the regular Flower Show admission price when they purchase their 2012 show tickets through SEPTA. Save $4 off weekend and $2 off weekday ticket prices. Tickets can be purchased at major SEPTA transit sales offices and Regional Rail ticket offices.

SEPTA's Transit Gift Store is celebrating the 2012 Philadelphia International Flower Show, "Hawaii: Islands of Aloha".

This model bus demonstrates how SEPTA can help customers say "Aloha" to a tropical paradise by riding the system to the Flower Show.

Employee Kelly Torok arranges flowers for the Transit Gift Store's entry in the "Phlower Power" window decorating contest.

Gift Store associate George Rice puts the finishing touches on the display's street scene.

Torok and Rice proudly pose with the finished window.