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? Then, when you finally got the opportunity to speak to a customer-service operator, he or she had a lack of general knowledge about the SEPTA system or got irritated because you asked the representative to repeat the directions they sputtered out or mumbled.
Why are bus drivers not required to wear visible ID badges? If management thinks this is not possible, an alternative would be to display the ID badges in similar fashion to which many cab services display their drivers' badges, on the interior surfaces of their vehicles so 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 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.)
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 concerns to management.
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?
Out of the car, please
IT SEEMS LIKE every day I wake up to the news of someone killed in Philadelphia, followed by the words, "police arrived shortly afterward to find a dead body."
The bar shooting on Sunday (June 24) in South Philadelphia is a recent example.
The culture of Philadelphia police driving around in cruisers is at least partially to blame for this.
I'm told by my police friends that "we need the mobility" but when you arrive a minute or even a second late all of the time, it defeats the business model.
They need to look only 90 miles north for the solution.
I recently took a trip to New York City to audition for the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire TV" show and attend a Temple University alumni function. During an hour-long, 32-block walk from Penn Station to the ABC studios at 66th and Columbus, I saw policemen out of their cars on every block along the way, interacting with the citizens. That kind of police presence acts as a deterrent to crime.
I never felt safer in my life.
Contrast that to a Fox29 report recently where they sent a reporter to the heart of Center City, 16th and Sansom, and that reporter held up a stopwatch saying he had been there and had not seen a single patrol car in one hour and 15 minutes.
Imagine if there had been a beat cop walking around the block, checking inside bars, in South Philadelphia at 1 a.m. that Sunday?
Commissioner Ramsey needs to go to NYC, take some notes and use that as the template for his department. n
More free speech
Re: Mike Kubacki's letter "Free speech by corporations: So what's new?" (June 26)
The letter from Mr. Kubacki is yet another rant for rant's sake. Hellooooooo Mr. Kubacki . . . the difference between free speech for newspapers or Target (or Koch Industries, for that matter) is what is at stake. Americans are already too familiar with free speech for corporations — consider Fox News.
As to what is at stake: money and power. As we all know, money and power are synonymous in our wacky country and the ability to shout louder because of money (again, consider the tone of Fox News) shouldn't determine the winner.
But where the line is now erased is, we knew who ran the newspapers. So we could not buy from advertisers, not read the paper, etc.
Now we can't, because these corporations, along with the rich Captains of Industry, don't have to reveal themselves. If they did, we could boycott products, advertisers, etc. That's the difference.
If you believe truly in something, wouldn't you be willing to stand up for it?