Re: "SEPTA executives are out of touch with riders":

Half a million people ride SEPTA's city transit each day, yet executives continue to ignore repeated passenger complaints. On numerous occasions, I have witnessed the same SEPTA drivers repeatedly act in an obnoxious way towards the general public. The employees in question are so over the top; I don't understand why management refuses to terminate them. The drivers who are consistently friendly and professional are having their good work drowned out by the nonsense and drama of the inappropriate employees.

Several SEPTA workers drive the buses at high rates of speed and then suddenly slam on the brakes as they approach each bus stop. Passengers go flying in all directions. And if you decide to wait until the bus comes to a complete halt before attempting to stand up, the driver will most likely hit the gas and ignore your stop request. Do SEPTA executives have unrealistic expectations of bus-route timelines from one destination to the next and, as a result, they push their drivers to hit the "pedal to the metal'?

Calling up the customer-service department is not much of an improvement for riders. How many times have you called and all you got was a busy signal or you were placed on hold, only to be disconnected and instructed to call back again? Then, when you finally got the opportunity to speak to a customer-service operator, they had a lack of general knowledge about the SEPTA system or they got irritated with you because you asked them to repeat the directions they sputtered out or mumbled.

Why are bus drivers not required to wear visible ID badges with their names displayed on them? I mean, visible from the vantage point of the passengers. If management thinks this is not possible, an alternative would be to display the ID badges in similar fashion to which many reputable cab services display their drivers' badges on the interior surfaces of their vehicles so that the identification of the operator is clearly displayed.

When a rider has a legitimate complaint, the process should be simple for the passenger to identify, specifically, which SEPTA employee acted inappropriately. In the heat of the moment, it's hard to remember or jot down the four-digit bus number or dock number. (The dock number is that number lit up on the dash board area of the bus.) It's difficult to catch a glimpse of it, especially when the driver is jetting off to his or her next stop.

In this fragile economy, if you are unemployed, it's a full-time job to find a job, and if you have a job you might be working a second one. The general public does not have the time and energy to volunteer and testify at SEPTA public hearings to formally address our concerns with management.

SEPTA executives consistently proclaim that ridership is up. This is a misleading statement. After analyzing Philadelphia's (SEPTA) website in comparison to the statistics on Boston's public-transit website (MBTA), an obvious conclusion can be drawn: The SEPTA system has less ridership than Boston's MBTA, yet Boston's transit system covers a city nearly one-third the size of Philadelphia.

How soon are SEPTA riders going to get hit with another round of fare increases and service cuts? I wonder what the executive response will be on that one.

Jason Kaye


What's the real where?

Re: "Where's the outrage?"

Gordon L. Holley asks where are the Rev. Jackson or Al Sharpton? Or the black community for its lack of caring for murder victims waiting for the bus, or a 7-year-old shooting victim during a house party?

Well, Mr. Holley, these victims weren't shot by a man supposedly protecting the neighborhood, while the victim only had a bag of Skittles & a hoodie. His crime was being black & an assumption of guilt for wearing a hoodie.

Mainstream media jump all over the story, as well as the aforementioned Jackson and Sharpton. Now, Mr. Holley, ask this question: Where were the media?

Duane Stewart


Measure of a man

I must say Barack Obama is one of the best presidents we have ever had. Not because he's black but because he tries to do for every race. Color is not a factor with him. There was a lot of mess left for him to clean up and he can't do it by himself. He needs all of our support: black, white, Hispanic, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.

Everything he tries to do gets kicked back. He is a patient man. He is considerate of the poor as well as the rich. He only asks that the rich help the poor, but that has been interpreted wrong.

Now with this new thing about school loans, how can kids/adults pay more for school loans than what that are paying now, with the economy going broke. Shame on whoever came up with this idea.

We will all be in the poor house if things don't change now.

Geraldine Kittrell