In an effort to better serve Philadelphia’s Spanish-speaking community, SEPTA is now making service announcements in both Spanish and English on two of its key city transit modes-the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Subway Lines. The announcements are also playing at City Trolley stations on the 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 routes.
“SEPTA has been building productive relationships with the Hispanic community and other multilingual communities by attending community meetings and events, participating in task forces and forming partnerships with community leaders,” said SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel. “The additional announcements are part of our strategic outreach initiatives to the Hispanic community in order to enhance our communications with our Spanish-speaking customers.”
In addition to the announcements, SEPTA has increased the number of bilingual and multilingual signs throughout the system to inform customers about safety, construction, service changes, as well as the SEPTA Key Program. One other tool is SEPTA’s Transit Watch App – offered in Spanish, Chinese, French and English, in which riders can discreetly report security and safety issues.
SEPTA’s Customer Service team offers assistance for Spanish-speaking customers with bilingual customer service agents via phone and Twitter @SEPTA_SOCIAL. SEPTA’s website, www.septa.org, also has the Google Translate option, which supports dozens of languages.
Another initiative that SEPTA has launched to more closely work with diverse communities is the Language Ambassador Program, through which bilingual employees serve as ambassadors to assist with multilingual events and message sharing.
“The program is designed to help create an environment in which our English-as-a-second-language customers feel comfortable using our system,” said Elvira Mendez, SEPTA’s Hispanic Outreach Strategic Plan manager.