Letters: SEPTA needs to improve Regional Rail service

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U.S. Senate candidates Sen. Pat Toomey and Katie McGinty shake hands at the end of Monday's debate . AP

SEPTA needs to improve

SEPTA continues to have delays on Regional Rail trains, causing frustration and exhibiting a lack of regard to paying customers. I have been a regular rider for 10 years, paying dearly for the privilege. I believe in public transportation and a smaller carbon footprint, but riding SEPTA has become a huge challenge to my schedule and patience.

The trains have been consistently late since the summer. I understand the problems with cars needing repairs, but there have been few announcements or attempts to keep passengers informed. The real-time app is seldom accurate. A woman waiting for a delayed train at Jefferson Station said she was about to get fired for being late to work every day.

On Wednesday, my train was canceled with no warning to the shivering riders on the platform. We waited and waited. Finally, the next train came. It was packed, and I was a half-hour late to work.

Terrible service. Many riders will return to driving if this continues.

|Robyn Buseman, Plymouth Meeting, robynb0119@gmail.com

Toomey strong on health care

In addition to Sen. Pat Toomey being "the better choice on economic issues" (Oct. 23), he has a record as a leader on health-care issues.

As a champion to save lives in the face of the opioid crisis, Toomey authored bipartisan measures in a package of bills signed by President Obama to address the issue and promote safe use of pain medications. Fentanyl contributed to 27 percent of Pennsylvania's drug-overdose deaths last year, and Toomey has introduced legislation to hold foreign countries accountable for illegally exporting fentanyl.

As chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Health Care, Toomey works to protect hardworking Pennsylvania families and ensure affordable health care. Due to problems with the federal health-care reform law, thousands of Pennsylvanians will be forced to buy a costlier, skimpier product or pay a large penalty. He is a cosponsor of bills to ensure that no one is unfairly forced to pay these fines.

We should reelect Toomey so he can continue to advance meaningful solutions to help Pennsylvanians.

|Dr. Arlin Silberman, Warrington

McGinty will fight global warming

Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty recognizes the truth in the scientific explanations for global warming. She intends to wield her influence in Congress to promote and vote for changes in environmental policy, which will serve the interest of this and future generations of Pennsylvanians, Americans, and all members of the global community. She believes, as do I, that the time has come to stop the denial of human involvement in the increasingly dire problems caused by global warming. Please consider voting for McGinty for the sake of your children, grandchildren, and the generations to come.

|Mitchell Cohen, Merion Station

Differences on renewable energy

In the debate at Temple University, Katie McGinty referred to Sen. Pat Toomey's financial support from the fossil-fuel industry and his opposition to federal tax incentives for wind and solar power ("Toomey, McGinty meet in final Senate debate," Tuesday). He countered that despite decades-long tax incentives to the profit-rich oil and gas industries, he did not see it as necessary to offer similar support to the renewable-energy sector.

This sector is vital if we are to head off the most devastating impacts from climate change. The Sierra Club, of which I am a member, endorsed McGinty.

|Sue Edwards, Swarthmore

Don't tax milk substitutes

Philadelphia's beverage tax will be charged not only on soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks, but on almond milk, rice milk, and cashew milk ("Public meeting to be held on beverage tax," Oct. 13). I want to protest loudly.

My 14-year-old daughter has been drinking almond milk all her life. After she was weaned from mother's milk, she could not digest cow's milk properly, and she is allergic to soy products, so we found almond milk. She has almond milk in her cereal, coffee, smoothies, and baked goods I make at home.

To include almond milk with sweetened beverages is wrong. Many parents give their children almond, rice, or cashew milk as an alternative to cow's milk. Indeed, there are many Americans who cannot digest cow's milk and must rely on other beverages to substitute for milk.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine cites research that "approximately 70 percent of African Americans, 90 percent of Asian Americans, 53 percent of Mexican Americans, and 74 percent of Native Americans were lactose intolerant."

I urge Mayor Kenney and City Council to exclude almond, rice, and cashew milks from this tax. They are healthy substitutes for Philadelphians who cannot tolerate lactose.

|Michelle Pauls, Philadelphia, mpauls@philadelphiatheatrecompany.org