The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) Youth Advisory Council (YAC) released its first major survey in an effort to understand the transportation usage and needs of young people in the Philadelphia region.
The survey, which is open to youth between the ages of 14 and 22, is the first step in a larger service evaluation strategy that will culminate in a set of recommendations on how SEPTA can better serve its youth riders.
The YAC was created by SEPTA in September 2009 to function as its "primary outreach group to riders ages 14 to 22," and is currently the only permanent youth advisory body of its kind in the country. The 17 youth serving on the YAC represent several local high schools and colleges and were chosen after a competitive application process that drew interest from young people across the Delaware Valley.
The survey is an integral part of the YAC's work plan, which focuses on the outreach and events, communication and service evaluation.
The survey process will be followed by public forums that will allow youth to directly engage YAC members and SEPTA representatives on issues of concern to them. The YAC will use the results of the survey and public forums to present SEPTA's board with a set of recommendations for better serving youth riders.
Other current YAC projects include visiting campuses to inform students about SEPTA resources and negotiating partnerships with local universities to expand youth ridership.