AT ITS monthly meeting on July 26, the SEPTA board truly disgraced itself. In spite of the recent legislation that comprehensively addresses the need for adequate subsidies, the board refused to reverse its earlier decision to eliminate paper transfers.
Passengers who ride too infrequently for the purchase of a TransPass to be economic would be obliged to pay a separate fare on every vehicle. Inevitably, the greatest burden will fall on the poor.
Even so, the board, traditionally dominated by suburban interests, assumed the outrageous posture that having already adopted the new fare tariffs, it lacked the authority to retain the paper transfer until the potential ramifications of abolishing it could be explored in a fresh round of public hearings. But SEPTA's enabling legislation and the accompanying bylaws confer on the board all of the necessary authority to retain the transfers until then.
Here in the city, passengers will continue to endure the consequences of such antics as long as the City Transit Division remains within SEPTA. The time has long since come for it to be removed from SEPTA altogether and managed as an independent entity.
All the recurring proposals to expand the city's representation on the SEPTA board, although well intended, would of necessity leave the balance of power where it has always been - in the hands of the surrounding suburban counties.
Mark D. Sanders
Philadelphia Street Railway
The 'Slowdown Pass'
I travel to and from work each day with the same group of 10 to 15 people. We discuss many different topics; enjoy many laughs. This morning, two of them told us they'd been written up for lateness - another got a warning.
SEPTA HAS to do better than this "In-Convenience Pass." I can't believe they paid someone to come up with this idea. When I catch my vehicle, it's 6:30 a.m., 10 people board. Before the "pass," all 10 could board in about 20 seconds - now it's a minute, 20 seconds.
Compound this by the number of stops between my start and destination, and we're talking an extra 10-15 minutes. People are late for work, causing them to get poorer performance reviews for tardiness, hence smaller or no pay raises.
Should we leave earlier? Will SEPTA adjust its schedules? Do we drive to work and feed into the gas prices?
I don't think SEPTA thought this one out too well. The "Day Pass" was much better and that, too, was a bone-headed, time- consuming idea.
They say they are trying to relieve the driver of handling cash and speed up the ride, yet this new thing is the most time-consuming exercise I have ever seen. And I'm not being prejudiced here, but just add a wheelchair-bound passenger to the morning rush equation.