Philadelphia

SEPTA Regional Rail Conductor Dies of Coronavirus

SEPTA and city officials have taken steps in recent weeks to try and contain the spread of the virus

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A SEPTA regional rail conductor has died of coronavirus, while another two workers are in critical condition, the president of a union representing transit agency workers said Wednesday.

The conductor was Mike Hill, according to Willie Brown, president of the Transit Workers of America Local 234, which represents the largest number of SEPTA's union employees.

SEPTA did not immediately provide more details about Hill’s passing. It's unclear when the last time he was on the job and on which line he was a conductor.

Hill was described as being "as easy as they come." He started at SEPTA in 1989 as an assistant conductor, according to an agency email.

Less than two weeks ago, the transit agency’s union also announced that three other workers had died after contracting COVID-19. They were an air conditioning specialist, a bus fueler and a man who held various positions in the transit agency.

SEPTA and city officials have taken steps in recent weeks to try and contain the spread of the virus by encouraging riders to wear face coverings and reducing the number of passengers aboard public transit vehicles.

Last week, a man without a face covering was forcefully pulled off a bus by police after he refused a bus driver’s request to get off. That prompted SEPTA to announce it would no longer enforce the face mask policy.

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On Wednesday, though, the agency said it was providing face masks to riders on some of its vehicles.

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