Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Should SEPTA end student TransPass program?

Inquirer staff writer Paul Nussbaum reports:

Should SEPTA end student TransPass program?


Inquirer staff writer Paul Nussbaum reports:

To reduce violence in the subway, SEPTA and the Philadelphia School District should eliminate the new student TransPass program and return to subsidized tokens and paper transfers for students, city controller Alan Butkovitz said today.

Butkovitz, who released a performance audit of subway security, said the new passes allow truants “to roam the system from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.” He cited the March 26 death of Sean Patrick Conroy, 36, a Starbucks manager in Center City who died after an attack by five truant Simon Gratz High School students.
Butkovitz also called for the city to install security cameras and manned security kiosks in the concourses and pedestrian tunnels under City Hall. And he urged that SEPTA police turn over the responsibility for rousting homeless people from the concourses to civilian officials, to free up more police to deal with violent crime.
SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said the transit agency “has seen no evidence of significant misuse” of student passes, “or any correalation of pass misuse with crime on the system.” In a written response to Butkovitz, he said crime statistics, which show a spike in crime after school dismissal times, have not changed much in recent years.
Casey said SEPTA is cooperating with the city to try to reduce homeless use of the subway concourses, but he said using non-police to deal with the problem “raises the possibility of more risk than benefit.”
A school district spokesman said he had not seen the audit and would have no immediate response.
The city’s deputy mayor of public safety, Everett A. Gillison, responded to the audit by agreeing to improve the security of emergency phones and to create a formal cooperation plan between city and SEPTA police.
But Gillison said many other of Butkovitz’s recommendations, such as cameras and kiosks, were too expensive for the city to tackle in its current financial straits.
Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or

Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.

We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog

A blog updated by the Inquirer online desk.

REPORT BREAKING NEWS: Call 215-854-2443


Back to

From the Source
Also on
letter icon Newsletter