Watch Your Step

SEPTA Fails Subway Safety Audit

A city audit of subway safety conditions in Philadelphia gives SEPTA a failing grade.

Philadelphia Controller Alan Butkovitz released the report “Subway Safety: Protecting Our Citizens” Tuesday.

Butkovitz cites youth violence and homelessness as the major challenges for the transit authority.

“Fifty percent of all serious crime on the transit system is committed by youth,” said Butkovitz.

He says the student TransPass breeds truants and allows youth to roam the subways from early morning until late at night.

“Until SEPTA establishes a new fare system that can limit the number of daily rides, we highly recommend that the transit authority eliminate the student TransPass and return to tokens and paper transfers,” Butkovitz said.

The audit was conducted after five teens assaulted and murdered Sean Conroy on the Market-Frankford El platform at 13th and Market Streets in March.

The controller also stated that SEPTA’s lack of a memorandum of understanding, which clearly defines enforcement responsibilities with Philadelphia Police, hinders the protection of citizens.

Butkovitz issued the following recommendations:

  • SEPTA initiate crime mapping, rollout its new CAD system as soon as possible, and provide its officers with PDAs.
  • Install surveillance cameras on subway concourses.
  • Make phone wires and phones tamper resistant.
  • Install security kiosks in both the Market Street and Broad Street Concourses.
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