PHILADELPIHIA. SEPTA is collaborating with local police to help crack down on flash mobs, according to General Manager Joe Casey in response to one of this week’s rider questions.
Question: In recent weeks, the Cornwells Heights train station has had two separate incidents in which multiple cars have been broken into. While I realize that parking anywhere comes with the disclaimer of “we are not responsible for valuables stolen from your vehicle,” I do wonder if a) there are any plans to increase security, or work with the local police so that the area is better patrolled? b) the many parking spaces which are now filled with broken glass, some of which is from the first incident, are going to be cleaned up?
– Charles Gustafson, Bensalem
Answer: The Cornwells Heights parking lot is operated by PennDOT and the PA State Police are primarily responsible for security. When SEPTA was alerted to two acts of vandalism affecting multiple vehicles at the station, SEPTA Police, the State Police and Bensalem Police stepped-up patrols and the three departments collaborated in a surveillance operation. For now, conditions are back to normal; however, patrols will continue. SEPTA staff have identified the areas you spoke about where there is still broken glass and have reported to PennDOT that this area needs to be cleaned.
Question: It seems that a large number of the teens involved in the recent ‘flash mobs’ used SEPTA to get to the destination. Does SEPTA have or will SEPTA consider implementing a policy to alert authorities if they notice a sudden influx of teen ridership at any particular point? (For example: a video on YouTube video taken by a youth that was part of the flash mob shows a packed Broad Street subway car and their massive exit at the Walnut-Locust Station)
– Mike Cahill, Fishtown
Answer: We are very close partners with the Philadelphia Police Department and we share information that has an impact on both or either department. During the recent flash mob incidents and the threats of other such incidents, we were in constant touch with Philadelphia and other affected departments. We plan to continue to share intelligence and coordinate strategies with our law enforcement partners.
Question: The R3 5:44 express has been short a car more often than not during the past month. Why is train number 4382 frequently short a car? Regional rail ridership is up but won’t be for long on this train if there aren’t enough cars for the passengers.
– Mike Gehrke, Feasterville, PA
Answer: Within the past month, our records show due to a combination of unavoidable circumstances, including unscheduled in-service train redeployment, police activity, and car shortages, there were a total of five days that train No. 4382 was short one car. I understand that since April 7, we have been able to provide four cars everyday.