'It's concerning': SEPTA addressing safety concerns as crime, homelessness impact ridership

When you walk cross into a septa transit subway station, do you feel safe? For many riding the Septa lines, that answer is no.

"During the day time, up until like 3:30, 4:00, not bad. After that I do not get on the train," Septa rider Jeffrey Brown told FOX 29. "It’s crazy, they’re doing drugs on there, they’re shooting up, they’re melting drugs, they’re smoking, I’ve seen it!"

According to SEPTA Transit Police, last year some 70,000 people were violated code of conduct rules for things like sleeping on stairs and aboard trains.

"It’s concerning, it’s disappointing, we certainly don’t want to see our system work like that," SEPTA Assistant General Manager of Operations Scott Sauer said.

SEPTA is trying to tackle the problems through a program called S.A.V.E – Serving A Vulnerable Entity. 

SEPTA says it's working to address rider safety concerns as crime mounts in Philadelphia.

"We’ve been able to get help for people who need it and desire it and address people in a much more humane (way)."

To many, like 29-year SEPTA worker Jackie Fields who says her life was threatened while working, it’s still not enough. She spoke to FOX 29's Steve Keeley last week.

"It’s just horrible that the company i worked for, for 29 years do not care about my safety," Fields said.

SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel says arrests are being made, despite public perception.

"We don’t decide who gets bail, and we don’t decide on sentencing," Nestle said. "Our job is to make arrests and in 2021 the transit police made over 500 arrests for misdemeanor and felony offensives."

According to Nestle, the Philadelphia court system is working through a major backlog of cases that date back two years ago.




SUBSCRIBE: Good Day Digest Newsletter | FOX 29 Philly on YouTube

FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter