Bad weekend for SEPTA bus drivers

Two seperate incidents happened over the weekend that injured SEPTA bus drivers.

On late Saturday night, 3 teenagers dragged a bus driver off the 52 bus and assaulted him, leaving him with a possible broken nose and stitches.  All three teens were picked up by police only a few blocks from the incdient. 

And early Sunday morning, a 42 bus was hit by an SUV that went through a red light causing the bus to crash into multiple cars and a tree on Spruce St.  The bus driver and a handful of passengers were injured in the accident.  SEPTA left a note on all of the cars that were damaged to contact them regarding the accident.  

Come on folks, as noted in the Inquirer this morning, Sunday was the 3rd Annual International Bus Driver Appreciation Day!

We’re #2!… in reported crimes on transit

Philadelphia's 11th street subway station

The Washington Examiner newspaper last week reported that Washington, DC’s Metro system reported more crimes (per trip) than the five other big city transit agencies: New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.

Who was in second place?  Us.

From the Examiner:

Per Million Rides

Metro: 5.52

Philadelphia’s SEPTA*: 4.50

Atlanta’s MARTA: 3.20

Boston’s MBTA: 2.98

Los Angeles’ MTA: 2.55

New York City’s MTA**: 1.55

*SEPTA numbers are for its two subway lines, the only part of the network that the agency polices itself, said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.

** NYC’s MTA numbers do not include arson, auto theft or smaller scale thefts sometimes called petty larceny, per New York Police Department.

Two questions:

Did crime go up or down on SEPTA’s system?

And I am a little confused by the asterisk above.  So, should we contact Philadelphia Police rather than SEPTA Police if there is an issue on Regional Rail, buses, or trolleys?

(image credit.)

Copper thieves cost SEPTA $500,000 per year

It seems like every year or so, reports emerge that someone(s) is stealing copper from SEPTA.  And last week, the Inquirer reports it’s continuing to happen.

SEPTA is spending about $500,000 a year to repair and replace equipment damaged by scavengers, and two or three trains a month are delayed by power interruptions or signal failures caused by cut wires, Knueppel said.

Yikes.  That’s a lot of dough.  Even in a city were one in four people live under the federal poverty line, it’s an awfully dangerous hustle.



Thug at Olney Transportation Center tells bizarre story then mugs five men

Spend much time at the Olney Transportation Center on the BSL?  Are you a man between the ages of 17 and 20?  Watch out for an armed mugger.

Action News reports:

Northwest Philadelphia investigators say [a suspect has] targeted up to five men, ages 17 to 20, at different SEPTA stops along Broad Street including the Olney Transportation Center.

The man, seen in surveillance wearing a New Jersey Nets jacket, delivered a farfetched story about how his brother was just killed and dumped into a nearby trashcan.

Then, he told the victims not only did he have a gun pointed at them, he was wearing body armor and a wire.

The suspect is described as a black male, with dark complexion, in his 40s, about 6 feet to 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a scruffy beard and a dark build.


Inquirer steps up its coverage of SEPTA, runs two great stories in the past week

Two really great SEPTA stories in the Inquirer over the past few days.  Did you catch them?

On Friday, Kia Gregory reported on a training program run by SEPTA to teach bus drivers–350 so far–about conflict avoidance and de-escalation techniques.

There were about 90 assaults on them while on duty in 2011, 81 of them physical. That was up from 20 in 2010, partly due to more aggressive reporting.

It’s tough out there.

Then on Sunday, Miriam Hill reported on the old Philadelphia & Reading railroad tunnel, now owned and maintained by SEPTA that runs from Girard Avenue down south under the  Art Museum and out near the Whole Fields behind the soon-to-open Barnes Museum.

It’s good to see the Inquirer finding good interesting SEPTA stories to write about.  I’ve previously complained about the typical boring SEPTA story that runs in the Inquirer.  Here’s hoping that this is the beginning of a trend.

(image credit.)

Sunday morning truce broken at Snyder Station

Several media outlets are reporting a ridiculous crime that happened this past Sunday morning, Jan 29th, at 9:15am at the Snyder station on the Broad Street Line.

Apparently, some punk doesn’t know about the Sunday morning truce and held up a rider on the concourse leading to the Snyder station.

And for what? Lottery tickets? Sheesh.

Very bad rider behavior

A recent rider on the G bus in SW Phila went way over the line by groping the bus driver.

Not cool, and luckily there was video surveillance that shows pretty clear photos of the man.

The Philadelphia Police are now looking for tips to identify him and arrest him for sexual assault.

 And some cities are putting up shields to protect their drivers from riders.

Would that help or hurt SEPTA’s perception?


Man gets probation for taking 49 photos up the skirt of a sleeping passenger

SEPTA was super crowded with Sixers fans

One creepy dude.

A SEPTA police officer was riding the Lansdale-Doylestown rail line when he spotted George Kwang Tai Kim taking photos of a slumbering female commuter on April 27 at about 10 a.m.

Tai Kim was taking photos of the legs of the commuter, who was wearing a red skirt, and also reaching downward with his camera, taking pictures up the unsuspecting woman’s skirt, the SEPTA officer told police.

NOTE: None of the fine gentlemen in the photo above are–presumably–the very creepy George Kwang Tai Kim.

(image credit: flickr user ethorson.)