SEPTA Travelers Frustrated Over Icy Conditions

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Lauren Kaznica
    The sidewalk at a bus shelter at Frankford Avenue and East Palmer Street was covered in ice Wednesday morning.

    The frustration is mounting for commuters forced to wait in the street while the sidewalks at bus stops and shelters are covered in a slippery, icy mess.

    "It is a little irritating because it didn't look like they even tried to do anything about it," said 25-year-old Lauren Kaznica.

    Kaznica, who is eight-months pregnant, was waiting for the bus around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at a shelter located near the corner of Frankford Avenue and East Palmer Street.

    "I had to stand in one spot the whole time and not move because everywhere I went there was ice," she said.

    The shelter is one of 250 in the city managed by Titan, a national advertising agency that handles campaigns on SEPTA vehicles and facilities.

    "We check the shelters on a daily basis to make sure they are intact and the advertising is in good order," said Scott Goldsmith, Titan's chief commercial officer. "By doing that, we monitor if there is additional work to be done for the snow."

    Goldsmith acknowledges that the snow-filled winter has made it more challenging to maintain the shelters, he says the company takes its responsibilities seriously.

    After finding out about the poor conditions at the shelter where Kaznica caught the bus from NBC10, Titan immediately dispatched a crew to remove the ice.

    "We want to be good corporate citizens in the city," he said.

    Passengers can call 215-268-0073 to inform Titan's operations staff about any issues at the shelters.

    The contact information is posted at each shelter along with a shelter identification number, Goldsmith said. 

    As for the snow-covered sidewalks at bus stops without shelters, city officials say the Streets Department is only responsible for the sidewalks on city-owned bridges, along with area roadways.

    "Where there is not a shelter, clearing the sidewalk is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner," said Andrew Stober, chief of staff with the Mayor's Office of Transportation and Utilities. "If the property owner has cleared a 36-inch path on the sidewalk, the owner has met their obligation."

    The snowy start to 2014 has been challenging for SEPTA, which has about 16,000 bus stops throughout its entire system, according to Andrew Busch, a spokesman for the public transportation agency.

    "Our bus operators are both trained and instructed to pull up to an area where there is a clearing," Busch said.

    Drivers may stop the bus within the intersection, where plows have cleared snow, and wait for passengers to walk over from the stop, he said.

    If snow has not been cleared within six hours of the end of a snowfall or freezing rain, travelers can notify city officials by calling 311 or sending an email to philly31@phila.gov.

    While officials and travelers alike wait for the ice and snow to melt, public transportation passengers managed commuting through up to 5 inches of snow Tuesday morning, but many expressed their frustration with the snow-covered walkways on social media.

    During the heavy Nor'easter that dumped up to a foot of snow around the region Thursday, SEPTA delayed and suspended bus routes, which left some travelers stranded without midday bus service.

    Posts on Instagram and Twitter captured the commuters' frustrations.  Below are some of the trials shared by SEPTA travelers on social media.

    Tweet your SEPTA bus stop photos to @NBCPhiladelphia