Philadelphia, PASoutheastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has released their FY 2025 Budget Proposal, and with it comes new greener vehicles.

"Example of Alternate Fuel Bus," courtesy of
“Example of Alternate Fuel Bus,” courtesy of

First, let’s give a general overview of what’s to be expected.

Existing Diesel-Electric Hybrid Buses to be Converted to Electric

As part of their initiative to have a completely zero-emission bus fleet fleet by 2040, SEPTA plans to convert 12 diesel-electric hybrid buses to straight electric (unclear if battery-electric or otherwise, but likely battery electric) during their vehicle overhaul (VOH). Since the New Flyer Xcelsior buses are up next to be VOH’d, it’s likely to be those buses.

With the goal of achieving a 100 percent zero-emission bus fleet by 2040, retrofitting existing hybrid buses may be a cost-effective and sustainable practice for fleet conversion.” – SEPTA

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Buses Currently Being Delivered

On top of the New Flyer XDE40 hybrid buses that are currently being delivered, SEPTA’s also to receive 10 hydrogen fuel cell New Flyer XHE40 buses between now and 2025. The first of these hydrogen fuel cell buses have already been completed, and is to be delivered soon, numbered 701. This bus, and the other XHE40s from this order are to operate out of Midvale Bus Depot.

New Zero-Emissions Buses of Varying Sizes and Types

The plan is to order 20 zero emissions buses, 10 forty-foot and 10 sixty-foot, to bring the total amount of active Zero-Emissions Buses (ZEBs) to 30 (including the current XHE40 order being delivered). Of this new 20 bus mixed order, 10 buses will be forty-foot battery-electric buses, 5 will be sixty-foot, battery electric buses, and 5 will be sixty-foot, hydrogen fuel-cell/electric buses. Not only will this increase SEPTA’s green footprint, but this will also increase the number of articulated buses in the fleet to almost 200! These buses have not been ordered yet, but the ordering and delivery process will be between 2025 and 2026.

New Trackless Trolley Buses

Unlike Boston’s MBTA, SEPTA does not plan to delete their trackless system and replace it with battery buses. Quite the contrary actually, SEPTA is purchasing NEW trackless trolley buses to replace their existing vehicles from 2008. 38 to be exact. These buses have not been ordered yet, but the ordering and delivery process will be between 2025 and 2026.

Regional Rail Fleet Modernization

SEPTA CRRC Rail Car, Order Cancelled in 2024
SEPTA CRRC Rail Car, Order Cancelled in 2024

Regional Rail currently operates the oldest vehicles in the system, with the majority of the fleet being Silverliner IVs which were build in the 1970s! Although SEPTA recently cancelled the CRRC rail car order due to it’s many delays (the cars were due in 2019, and still haven’t been delivered in 2024), a new plan for the Silverliner VI has been revealed, with similar design elements of both the Silverliner V and Silverliner IV cars. The focus of the new cars is to be accessibility. These new cars are supposed to be designed and procured starting in 2025, with delivery lasting through 2036 (Start year not confirmed yet).

Market-Frankford Line Car Replacements

Despite being the youngest SEPTA Metro cars in the fleet, the ADTranz M4s are beyond a doubt the most rundown of all of them. Earlier this year, SEPTA was awarded a $343 million grant to replace these cars with more modern, functional, and accessible cars.


All these new vehicles, plus some that are already in service, will make SEPTA one of the greenest transit fleets in the nation! This is also a historic moment in SEPTA’s history, as this is the first time since 2006, that SEPTA actually purchased buses for innovation and testing purposes, rather than just “watched” how other agencies operated while sticking to “what they know.

This is, as was the slogan in the early 2000s, “The New SEPTA.”


SEPTA’s Official 2025 Capital Budget Proposal

About the author: Dash Verified icon 1

I have been with Virtual Transit Center since it's conception as the "Dash Forums" back in 2008. Since then, I have been writing and doing YouTube side by side, focusing both on Transportation and Gaming. Most of my knowledge comes from SEPTA as I lived in Philadelphia for most of my life. As of 2021, I am on YouTube as DashTransit, Dash5155, and TheDashOfficial.

As for the name DashTransit itself, it actually stems from my YouTube channel.

DashTransit was originally called "njt5329" and the channel was just clips of buses. Mostly SEPTA and NJT. A Fujifilm Finepix was used in this era.

Starting in July 2011, the Canon SX130IS camera became the camera of the channel, bringing HD documentary-style videos much like my buddy (trainman1971) did for DVD for many years past. This is when the channel became known as "Transit Action Series"

In May 2012, the original Canon SX130IS retired, and then all videos were recorded off a mobile phone until eventually uploaded proved too difficult due to hardships IRL

Starting in 2017, I used a Canon SX200IS from Bastranz to reboot the channel that otherwise was dead for a whole year prior.

Between April 19th, 2019, and January 21st, 2021, all videos were recorded by a Canon SX710 HS camera. The channel was renamed DashTransit 4/19/19.

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