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SEPTA: History and "How To"   Tags: urban studies  

This unit would introduce students to the history and “how to” of SEPTA in order to build students' understanding that Philadelphia is made up of interrelated organizations and infrastructure and the importance of public transportation.
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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introduction to SEPTA

1. To introduce the students to SEPTA, the instructor may use a powerpoint and notes (in materials) showing the different types of transportation included in SEPTA and maps that show how they connect.

a. At one point during the presentation, the instructor may ask the students to figure out a possible route from GFS to a few other places using the SEPTA map. The instructor may pause at this point, break students into groups briefly, and give them a few minutes to figure out how they would make the journey.

b. After finishing the presentation, the instructor may again break students into small groups and pass out a different schedule to each group. Groups may be tasked with finding certain information in their schedule such as what the end points of the route is and the hours that that particular form of transportation runs.

c. follow up assignment: Students may be assigned to pick two points on the complete SEPTA map and plan a trip between them. Students should use the SEPTA maps and schedule online to figure out how they can get from one point to the next using at least two forms of transportation, making note of when they can catch each form of transportation, and describing where they will go and what they will do there.

d. alternative follow up assignment: “What kind of SEPTA vehicle are you?”: Students may write a short essay answering this question, discussing which of the five major types of transit vehicles they most identify with. Students may read some of the examples on SEPTA's website for inspiration:


SEPTA: who, how, and changes over time

  1. For this lesson, using a powerpoint (in materials), the instructor and students will explore SEPTA in a little more depth-covering some elements of the governing of SEPTA and its history.

   a. Another possibly useful component of this lesson could be for the instructor to identify a recent development in SEPTA and use this to illustrate for students how the different members of SEPTA's leadership affect change in SEPTA. Current events in SEPTA can be found on the SEPTA website under “Media”.

   b. follow up assignment: Students may be asked to come up with a new idea for SEPTA, such as a new form of transportation, and create a proposal to present to the board of directors. Their proposals should include a brief description of the new element, visuals that show how it would fit into the current system and what the new element would look like, and reasoning for why it would be beneficial to Philadelphians to add the new element to the system. 


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