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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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FestiBUS For All of Us

John Golden
Public Information Manager

Every year members of Building A SEPTA Culture of Service and Creativity (*BASCSC) sets the stage for tricked out buses and trolleys - at the annual All District Holiday Vehicle Decoration Competition. And, needless to say, this year, SEPTA operators did not disappoint. Eight festive buses were paraded through bay #2 at the Frankford Transportation Center on Wednesday, December 6 in front of more than 200 cheering, festive spectators.

"It takes a lot of hard work and dedication on everybody's part to pull this event off because there are so many moving parts," says Rhonda Johnson, Senior Customer Service Specialist and BASCSC Team 3 Coordinator. "The amount of creativity, time and dedication that the teams' put into their vehicles really helps employees from different departments get to know and appreciate each other."

With themes ranging from Winter Candyland to Winter Wonderland, it was Victory District's "The Holiday Machine" that won the judges' hearts - scoring first place. A nod to everyone's favorite 1970's classic Saturday morning cartoon Scooby Doo, the bus was completely donned with recognizable, but distinctive decorations; employees even popped off the bus fully dressed in character. Frontier District's, "It's A Small World," came in second place, with a message of global peace and international unity. Callowhill Depot's "Gingerbread House" came in third place, complete with snow-dusted faux shingles and gum drops. There were several runner-ups that were recognized - a welcomed new category this year - so more employees could receive accolades. (end here)

Ken Divers, Surface Transportation Manager, took the lead in coordinating where the eight holiday buses would be displayed throughout the city. The first, second and third place winners participated in "pop-up" displays at various schools throughout the area. Other locations included:

  • 69th Street Terminal in Southwest Philadelphia
  • Philadelphia Mills & King of Prussia Malls
  • 30th Street Station at "The Porch"
  • A LIVE appearance on FOX-29 "Good Day Philadelphia"
    in Olde City
  • SEPTA Headquarters at 1234 Market Street


"What's most amazing is that each employee who participated understood that they would make personal sacrifices of their time and in some cases a financial sacrifice as well, says Kenneth Divers, Surface Transportation Manager. "These remarkable decorative displays are a testament to the resolve and fortitude of each volunteer."

All the vehicles' colors were eye-popping in the form of lollipops, presents and balloons. Christmas trees and mock fireplaces were a common thread, with one adventurous team adding a chimney that puffed white smoke from a stack on top of the bus.

Buses were not the only vehicle on display. Trolley operators got into the 'Trolley'-day spirit with three entries to the competition. Victory District came out victorious once again with their "A Christmas Carol"- themed trolley. Callowhill was the second runner -up with their "Candy Cane" theme, followed by "Jingle Bells" from Elmwood District. The trolleys were wrapped with hundreds of lights and ornaments, along with yards of garland??all to make the season brighter for their passengers.

Mike Liberi, Chief Surface Transportation Officer, added, "Every year the bar is set higher, and teams go above and beyond to outdo each other, creating not just a friendly competition, but fun and camaraderie along the way, so who knows what we'll see in 2018."

Frankford Transportation Center will play host again to the competition next year.

*BASCSC, which began in 2012, is comprised of employees who volunteer their time and energy to work on initiatives identified by senior management as crucial to SEPTA's efforts to not only meet, but exceed customer expectations.


SEPTA General Manager Jeff Knueppel and FOX-29's Good Day Philadelphia co-anchor, Alex Holly, are flanked by the Scooby Doo Gang from Victory District. Their "Holiday Machine" won first-place for the bus competition.



BASCSC Group 3 at the post-All District Holiday Vehicle Decoration Competition celebration at Frankford District.



Victory District's A Christmas Carol, - this year's winner for the trolley competition.



Victory District's The Holiday Machine, - a nod to everyone's favorite 1970's classic Saturday morning cartoon Scooby Doo.