Twice in the past month, I've ridden SEPTA from my home in West Chester into Center City, taking the 104 bus to the 69th Street Terminal and the Blue Line. The buses were prompt, clean, and quiet. The terminal was spotless. The old "El" that used to threateningly clank and sway now moves as if on air, free of graffiti, and every five to seven minutes. The Orange Line has been that way for more than a decade now.

I came of age in Boston, where almost everyone takes the "T." However, by my estimate, nine of 10 passengers on SEPTA are African American, despite the almost 50-50 parity between the races in the city. Philadelphia was never conceived to be a ghetto of any kind; it was the first city in history founded upon principles of racial and religious equality. It is long past time for millions of white and affluent residents of this region to leave their cars and "go green" by taking SEPTA into town. They will find a system well-equipped to meet their needs, one that will reduce their daily exposure to stress, and if they are sociable, will help them make delightful friends along their way. Just as important, they will banish ghettoization from the Cradle of Liberty.

If the Phillies can make America forget the Red Sox, Philadelphians can show the rest of the nation how responsible they are by riding what is now arguably one of the world's best transit systems.

Dick Bloom

West Chester