Care, caution, dignity for SEPTA’s homeless

PHILADELPHIA. SEPTA is renovating some of North Philadelphia’s busiest stations, but express service to Temple won’t be part of that, according to General Manager Joe Casey, who also answers questions this week about homeless residents and the R2.

Q: What is SEPTA’s policy regarding homeless people who sleep in the entrances and exits of stations? At the exit I use daily, the maintenance worker just sweeps around people who are sleeping on the ground.
Gail Mirra, Havertown

A: In accordance with local and state law and SEPTA policy, SEPTA Transit Police Officers are authorized to remove from SEPTA property any person without having a legitimate traveling or business purpose. Homeless persons who have no permanent residence are removed with care, caution and dignity, and are directed to an appropriate shelter or care facility. Earlier this month, SEPTA and the city initiated an outreach program to the homeless frequenting the downtown stations. Many have accepted assistance offered by the city.

Q: Why do you provide one R2 Newark/Wilmington express train in the morning from Norwood station inbound to Center City Philadelphia, but there are no express trains provided from Center City to Norwood in the afternoon or night?
Donna Rich, Norwood

A: The morning stop at Norwood on the express train was added to relieve overcrowding on local trains, where capacity was limited. The Norwood stop was chosen because of its close proximity to adjacent stations, its parking capacity and its heavy use during the morning peak period. Since these overcrowding issues do not occur in the evening peak period, Norwood was not added to the evening express train.

Q: Why doesn’t the Broad Street Subway have express service to Cecil B. Moore station? Myself and many other Temple students and employees would like the option.
Mark Kuhta, Philadelphia

A: The location of station platforms dictates our ability to provide express service. Cecil B. Moore Station was not constructed as an island platform (in the center of the local and express tracks). Therefore, Broad Street Line express service to Temple is not an option. The station platform can only serve local trains.

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