As Mascot Hype Rises in Philadelphia, SEPTA Wants Riders’ Suggestions — and Stories

The transportation authority is holding a contest for a mascot name and origin story


What to Know

  • With the Union's Phang this summer and the Flyers' Gritty this fall, Philadelphia mascots are in high demand.
  • SEPTA wants one too, and is holding a mascot contest and asking for rider suggestions.
  • The contest is incentivized with prizes, including t-shirts and a November Anywhere TrailPass. It closes Oct 24.

The Philly Phanatic sailed in from the Galapagos Islands.

Swoop was an eagle granted better strength and vision — and, apparently, humanoid form — through the gift of an Eagles' jersey.

The Philadelphia Union’s Phang was a regular snake struck by lightning who then turned into a metal egg and was hatched anew at the Philadelphia Zoo, complete with arms, legs, and a gold Mohawk.

And Gritty, Philadelphia’s newest, er, monster, crawled out of a subterranean hole under the Wells Fargo Center, where he’d been lurking (and chowing down on Flyers hot dogs) for years.

In other words, the mascot hype in Philadelphia is bigger than ever. And now, SEPTA wants in.

The transportation authority tweeted Monday morning: "…What if #SEPTA had a mascot? Tell us what it should be [please be nice]."

Among the suggestions that came flooding in via social media were a sloth, a snail, and a delayed train. Others in the twitterverse suggested a rat, a bedbug, and "Gritty in a SEPTA uniform". Still others tweeted variations on the question “doesn’t SEPTA already have a mascot?”

The answer is — sort of. SEPTA’s "safety mascot", Paws, is an anthropomorphic dog with a train conductor uniform. He apparently wasn’t consulted on the mascot-contest idea.

Besides, SEPTA wants a creative origin story for its mascot, and Paws doesn’t have one.

So if you have the creativity SEPTA is looking for, and a mascot design to boot, you’re encouraged to enter SEPTA's contest. The grand prize is a November Anywhere TrailPass, and ten runners-up will receive a SEPTA t-shirt. The submission period ends October 24, so you better hurry.

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