SEPTA officials released a report detailing plans for safety and security across the multi-county system.
The transit authority’s plan addresses their “strategy for addressing safety, security and vulnerable populations across their system.”
In a report Tuesday, SEPTA officials say they are expanding the SCOPE program to be able to more effectively connect “vulnerable individuals” who use its system with social services to ensure a safe and clean transit system for passengers and employees.
SCOPE stands for Safety, Cleanliness, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement and was created back in April 2021 as a way for SEPTA to mitigate problems and service disruptions due to the increasing number of homeless people, people with addictions and people with mental health issues on its service .
“As employees return to offices across the region, SEPTA will continue to rely on its SCOPE strategy to ensure its system is safe, clean, reliable and efficient,” said SEPTA Chief Operating Officer Scott Sauer. “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our riders, the vulnerable people on our system and our more than 9,000 employees.”
One of the improvements SEPTA is making has been to increase the number of social service outreach workers assigned to its stations from seven to 50 to maximize its ability to connect vulnerable people to programs that can help them.
Another improvement noted in SEPTA’s plan is the allocation of $14.8 million in the FY 2023 budget for maintenance custodians. As noted in the report, this number is three times higher than the amount allocated last year.
Other strategies listed in the plan include developing a Health Navigators program in partnership with Drexel and Cabrini University, increasing the presence of uniformed police on trains and working with the Office of the Homeless to close gaps related to SEPTA’s service areas.
“We’re tackling some of the toughest challenges facing society, and we need everyone’s participation in finding solutions,” said SEPTA CEO and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “Our investment in SCOPE is critical to ensuring that SEPTA can provide safe, secure and reliable service that supports our city and region during the current recovery and into the long term.”