To reduce crime on the subways, SEPTA soon will install closed-circuit cameras in trains on the Market-Frankford Line.
The $3,349,560 project will place 10 cameras in each of the 225 cars on the subway-elevated that is SEPTA's busiest line. The installation will begin late this year or early next year, SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said.
That will not be soon enough for Samantha Stuchko, 21, of Woodbury, who said she had been assaulted twice this year on the Market-Frankford Line going to and from her job in Frankford.
"I don't feel very good" about riding the line, Stuchko said, "but there's no other choice."
She said that she was sexually harassed by a passenger in April near the York-Dauphin station and that her purse was stolen last month on a train stopped at the Tioga station.
"When I told the police, I said they should go back on the cameras and look at them," Stuchko said. "They said the cameras don't work."
Maloney said there were no cameras in trains on the Market-Frankford Line, unlike on the Broad Street Line, where recently installed cameras have helped catch criminals.
The most prominent example was an attack by a hammer-wielding passenger on a fellow rider on the Broad Street subway last September. Because the attack was recorded on SEPTA security cameras, police identified and arrested Thomas Scantling, 27, of Philadelphia, who is to be arraigned next Wednesday on charges of attempted murder and assault.
Some cameras have been installed on 20 platforms on the Market-Frankford Line and the subway-surface Green Line, part of an ongoing effort to put cameras in 57 stations on the two lines, Maloney said. That project is to be completed within two years.
The installation of cameras on Market-Frankford trains will begin when the installation of cameras on Broad Street subways is completed later this year, Maloney said.
SEPTA officials and police hope cameras will reduce crimes on the Market-Frankford Line. On July 23, a man with a knife sexually assaulted a 22-year-old woman who was carrying a baby.
SEPTA boosted police patrols on the subways last year, after a fatal attack on Sean Patrick Conroy, a Starbucks manager, by truant high schoolers on the subway concourse at 13th and Market Streets.