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NEWS
July 17, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA police are field testing video cameras that clip onto officers' shirts and record everything they do, officials announced Tuesday. The camera, which connects to an officer's handheld police radio, records video and audio, and can take photos, said SEPTA Police Chief Thomas Nestel. "The benefit of that is that every contact that an officer has will then be video- and audiotaped. It's a tremendous benefit for police, a tremendous benefit for the public," Nestel said. "We're experimenting.
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IN ITS REPORT filed yesterday, a board called by President Obama to end a years-long labor dispute sided with SEPTA on raises and pension-plan contributions - two major sticking points behind a one-day Regional Rail strike last month. "We are pleased with the results of the report," said Jerri Williams, a SEPTA spokeswoman. "It's what we've been trying to explain in negotiations with the unions for a number of years. " The board recommends that the wage increases paid out to the members of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers should be the same (11.5 percent)
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IF YOU see a SEPTA Transit Police officer in the next few days, be sure to smile - you may be on camera. This week, the force is beginning a trial run of body-mounted cameras on its officers, an initiative officials have had their eyes on for months. "It improves public trust," SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel said. "If people know police have cameras on uniform, they have more faith that officers are acting properly. " Nestel's a self-admitted fan of technology - he boasts more than 2,000 Twitter followers - and says the cameras can be a valuable tool for the force.
NEWS
July 16, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
A panel appointed by President Obama sided with SEPTA management Monday on most of the issues in its long-running labor dispute with Regional Rail engineers and electrical workers. The presidential emergency board, whose recommendations are not binding, said the rail workers should get the same 11.5 percent raises negotiated in a five-year contract in 2009 by bus drivers and subway operators. The railroad workers are not entitled to retroactive raises or an additional increase based on a pension boost received by the bus drivers' union, the board said.
NEWS
July 15, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
  An alleged drunken driver ran a red light and rammed into a SEPTA paratransit bus Sunday in Fairhill, causing it to overturn and sending five people to hospitals, Philadelphia police said. The 48-year-old driver of a brown Cadillac was heading south on North Sixth Street when he failed to stop at a red light at West Cambria Street, hitting the eastbound bus around 2 p.m., police said. The bus - part of SEPTA's Customized Community Transportation program for senior citizens and people with disabilities - overturned and also hit a light pole.
BUSINESS
July 4, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
New passenger buses ordered by SEPTA have been delayed by production problems, forcing the transit agency to continue operating old buses that are increasingly prone to mechanical breakdowns. The first of 275 new electric-diesel buses purchased for $202.6 million was delivered this week, SEPTA officials said Wednesday. The first bus is more than a year behind schedule. The vehicles are being built by Nova Bus, Inc., a subsidiary of Volvo Bus Corp., headquartered in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, Canada.
NEWS
June 27, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
GOOD MORNING, fellow chumps. Do you pay your taxes? Chump. Do you support bake sales and fundraisers to help our perpetually underfunded schools? Chump. Do you applaud when legislators holding golden shovels hail revitalization projects that will change everything? Chump. Do you buy, for one stinking second, that Philly's got no money? Chump, chump, chump. There's plenty of money, it just goes uncollected or is mismanaged or downright stolen. That's a much more direct and honest way of referring to corruption, don't you think?
NEWS
June 18, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
WE'RE ABOUT halfway through the year, so it seems like a good time to stop, smell whatever's blooming and update readers who've asked, "Hey, whatever happened to . . . ?"   Speaking of smells, let's start with the feces house on 22nd Street above Lehigh Avenue in Swampoodle: Neighbors finally can exhale after years of dealing with the stench emanating from 2730 N. 22nd St. Following last week's column, neighbors said a crew showed up to clean up and make some long-overdue repairs.
BUSINESS
June 18, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The 11 workers who clean the gritty subway concourses under Center City fear that they will lose their jobs when SEPTA takes control of the miles of concourses from the city on July 1. The workers, who do the dirty work of cleaning up after nighttime revelers and homeless people before the morning rush of commuters, work for a janitorial company that is a subcontractor for the Center City District. Under a contract approved last month, the city - owner of the concourses - and the CCD will relinquish responsibility for cleaning, maintenance, and repairs to SEPTA.
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