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Millbourne Station Workers Honored for "Cleanest Station on the EL"

Manuel McDonnell Smith
Public Information Manager

With a wave, a smile, or both, SEPTA employees & passengers share pleasant greetings across the system every day. But recently, accolades for good work by our employees were taken to another level by the residents of an entire town. At the top of their July Borough Council Meeting, the leadership & residents of Millbourne, PA held a special ceremony to honor SEPTA's team of station managers and maintenance staff that keep their Market-Frankford Line (MFL) station both clean and safe.

"I always tell people you can almost eat your lunch off of this station's platform", boasts Council President Jeanette C. MacNeille, who spearheaded the effort to honor the station's staff members on behalf of the Delaware County's Boroughs' 1000-plus residents. The historic town, incorporated in the early 1900's, is sandwiched along Cobbs Creek between Philadelphia and Upper Darby Township. Small roads make for limited access for cars and larger vehicles, making access to the station and train service to Center City and points beyond critical for residents to access employment, entertainment, and other appointments along the line. To help serve their travel needs, MFL trains make more than 300 stops at the station each weekday, and more than 200 each day on weekends.

With that amount of passenger volume passing through the station, keeping things tidy is a never-ending effort for the six maintenance crews who are assigned to the station. As part of SEPTA's system-wide sustainability initiatives, Millbourne is one of 28 stations along the MFL that allows riders to sort recyclables from trash in separate containers. Last year, 200 pounds of recycling was contributed by the station's passengers and submitted for recycling by SEPTA.

While SEPTA's employees are take pride in executing their daily responsibilities, the council award is "the first time I can recall recognition from a borough", says Robert Toomer, a 17-year employee of the agency. He is the Assistant Director for Stations on the MFL's Western End, supervising a territory that spans from 30th Street Station in Philadelphia to 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby. He credits cleanliness at Millbourne station not only to the efforts of his workforce, but also to support from the surrounding community. "It's been a cooperative effort with the people of Millbourne who take pride in their station and help us to keep it clean", he explains.

Beyond improving passenger comfort and safety with a clean environment, the effort to keep the recently renovated station clean is also paying additional benefits to residents of the borough. MacNeille says the tidy station has been helpful in encouraging new residents and businesses to relocate to the area. In fact, the town is actively working on a new transit oriented development project which will use the station's facilities as a central anchor to connect new construction to the town's historic center. "It's a really important effort, and we really appreciate what the staff has done", she says of the SEPTA team's effort to keep the area free of litter.

Demonstrating their appreciation for their work was at the top of the agenda of July's Borough Council Meeting where MacNeille was joined by Mayor Tom Kramer, Council Vice Presidents Justin Skariah & Alauddin Patwary, Council Member Gurbaksh Basra, and Borough Manager Tina Mason in presenting certificates of appreciation to the Millbourne Station Staff. On behalf of SEPTA, Toomer was joined by Station Supervisor Keith Seward and Maintenance Chief James Schrig in accepting certificates on behalf of their entire team. In addition to the certificates which were mounted in special folders, the council also presented each SEPTA staff member with a gift box of chocolates. "It's nice to be recognized", said Toomer of the "sweet" honor presented by Millbourne's residents.

From right to left: Tom Kramer, Mayor, Justin Skariah, Council Vice President, Jeanette MacNeille, President, Millbourne Borough Council, Alauddin Patwary, Council Vice President, (there are two VP's), Robert Toomer from SEPTA, Gurbaksh Basra, Council Member, another SEPTA employee, and Tina Mason, Borough Manager.

The Millbourne Station sign adorned by the recently installed "Peacock" Mural.

A look at one of the pristine platforms of the Millbourne Station.

A passenger enjoys the clean station environment while awaiting a Westbound Train.

Trash and Recycling Containers are plentiful on the Millbourne Station Platform.