SEPTA is launching a new program that will add more guidance to its lines
The new guides will remind customers of the rules and encourage them to respect them.
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SEPTA has launched a new initiative that will promote more safety to its Market-Frankford lines and Broad Street lines and concourses heading to Center City.
The SEPTA Guide program will replace security guards with guides who will serve as ambassadors in hopes of maintaining SEPTA’s rules and regulations when riding.
The guides are part of SEPTA’s SCOPE (Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement) initiative, which was launched last year to help with outreach to members of the vulnerable population.
In addition to ensuring customer safety, the guides will also take on a gentler approach for all riders. They will also be responsible for opening and closing its SEPTA stations.
SEPTA Board President Pasquale T. Deon Sr. said protection and security are the main factors of this new program.
“We are committed to ensuring the safety of our riders and employees,” he said. “The guides will act as additional eyes and ears on SEPTA.”
SEPTA will provide up to 88 guides brought on by three private security companies to join the new initiative, meaning that less police officers will be on the premises and will only be needed when a guide calls them.
“While the guides will not replace police officers or serve an enforcement role, they will act as a force multiplier and contribute to the overall security of the system,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III. “Meanwhile, we continue to actively recruit qualified officers to boost our ranks.”
Guides also hope that SEPTA riders will reach out to them if they are in need or if they are in danger.
“We greatly appreciate the Board’s support for the guide program,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “It is our hope that this new approach will help reduce quality-of-life complaints and make our system more welcoming to riders.”
SEPTA will also provide hands-on training and show guides the ways of handling difficult situations.
The new initiative will also be used in hopes of curbing the crime rate on SEPTA’s rails.
Just a few weeks ago, five people were arrested for multiple assaults and robberies of SEPTA customers between the areas of 15th Street/City Hall Station and 30th Street Station on the Market-Frankford Line.
SEPTA board members are hoping that their new initiative will also help homeless citizens who depend on SEPTA’s services as a haven.
In September, SEPTA approved another program that will add 50 social workers to help the homeless population inside of the system.
SEPTA will add social outreach workers from Merakey Parkside Recovery, Eagle Staffing and One Day at a Time, Inc.
The social workers will also help those who are suffering from addiction and mental illness.