One man's (failed) valiant effort to change SEPTA's 'S'

Hunter Curry in front of SEPTA headquarters after the (three) protesters left.

About a month ago, Hunter Curry, 20, was sitting on the SEPTA train, heading to his home in Langhorne when he was struck by the transportation service’s logo, which he found “outrageous.”

He was particularly put off by the interlocking chevrons that form what appears to be a large S straddling SEPTA, written in blue letters.

“It’s not even an S, and the arrows should just be facing the other way so it completes an S,” Curry said. “I was just absolutely grilling the graphic design department in my head.”

A better look, he thought, would be what he called a “middle-school S,” a boxy version of the letter typically scribbled in the margins of notebooks by bored tweens.

As he stepped off the train, he scheduled a Facebook event to protest the logo at 4 a.m. Wednesday outside of SEPTA’s headquarters in Center City.

Curry, who goes by “Sun Temple” on Facebook, shared the event with a few close friends and went home to go to bed.

The next morning, he woke up and saw almost 1,000 people were interested in the protest. It was being shared a couple of times per minute, Curry said.

About 5,000 people eventually expressed interest in the protest.

It turns out to have been virtual interest.

Just three people gathered near 13th and Market Streets for the protest Wednesday, which had been rescheduled to a saner 4 p.m.

“Lots of people took it seriously online, so I wanted to see who took it seriously in real life,” said Isaac Cho, an 18-year-old Temple student who attended the event. “[This turnout] is expected.”

Curry couldn’t afford to use SEPTA to get to the protest, so he rode his bike from Arcadia University, where he is an English major. The trip took him an hour and 20 minutes. He arrived 20 minutes late to his own protest. The other protesters had left.

Curry said he felt “absolutely nothing” in regards to the turnout, but he was happy “we made history.”

Asked to elaborate, Curry said “Nothing.”

SEPTA spokeswoman Carla Showell-Lee said SEPTA would not consider changing its logo, despite Curry’s suggestion.

“SEPTA’s current logo, with very slight modifications over the years, dates back to the early 1970s,” she added. “The SEPTA logo has become highly recognizable throughout the entire tri-state area and is synonymous with our public transportation system in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

Curry said the design he proposed is “extremely beautiful and elegant and delicate and nostalgic,” adding it’s the “best S I’m aware of.”

Not everyone was so taken by his handiwork.

Jake DeMarino works for SEPTA,  according to his Facebook profile.

His assessment: “Yuck.”

“I wouldn’t want to be seen driving my work truck” with that “ugly” symbol on it, he wrote on the Facebook event page.

Others criticized the event itself, suggesting there were more important issues to protest at the moment.

Curry thought that was “distinctly un-American.”

“The right and opportunity to assemble is really, really sacred, no matter who takes advantage of it,” said Curry, who said the protest was his first. “When another idea pops into my head, I will just make another meme page.”