By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Washington, DC-based organization that represents the transit industry is naming SEPTA the best large transit system in North America.

American Public Transportation Association president Michael Melaniphy says APTA looked at both subjective and objective data.

“There’s a statistical anaylsis that’s done through each system, submitting items like their ridership data, on-time performance, and cost effectiveness,” he explained to KYW Newsradio.

APTA also looked at SEPTA customer service surveys, environmental standards, its large fleet of hybrid buses, and financial management, leading to the selection of SEPTA as the best among more than 60 transit agencies of similar size.

Some riders at Market East station, in center city Philadelphia, agreed with APTA’s assessment of SEPTA.

“I take it three or four times a week,” said one man.  “Their facilities are fantastic.  If I forget to charge my phone, they’ve got an outlet.”

“It’s almost always on time, and it’s clean,” said another.

But some riders begged to differ.

“It’s constantly having lines that are down, and delays,” said one woman.

“It’s… okay,” said another.  “I think they need improvements on communicating.  I would give them a C.”

APTA has been giving out the awards since 1983;  SEPTA also won in 1996.  New Jersey Transit is a two-time winner, in 1983 and 1993.