In an age when smartphones are many people's lifeline - and walking without talking on the phone, listening to music or checking email is a rarity, SEPTA is doing its best to keep distracted commuters safe.
One way the transportation company is doing so, is with the unveiling of the talking bus -- complete with an alert system that audibly and visually warns pedestrians that the bus is turning.
"When he [the driver] turns the steering wheel, it activates the strobe on the side of the bus as well as the audio alarm letting the pedestrians know that the bus is turning," said SEPTA's Manager of Operational Safety Ed Abel, Jr.
The warning systems have been installed in 12 SEPTA buses in the city so far as part of the pilot program. SEPTA officials will ride on these buses to access the alert system's effectiveness.
The Safe Turn Program is an extensions of SEPTA's Distracted Commuter Awareness Program launched last year.