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Getting There: The ISEPTAPHILLY Blog

Meet 20 Frontline Workers Essential to SEPTA Service

Olivia essential blog

Published in partnership with Billy Penn Staff.

Public transit workers are some of the most essential people in Philadelphia right now. Without them, many other critical figures — from hospital cleaners to grocery cashiers to longterm care staff and more — couldn’t get to their own essential jobs.

What kind of jobs are these essential workers doing? Everything from maintaining elevators to conducting trains to driving special routes for seniors and ADA customers.

Below, meet 20 SEPTA workers on the frontlines, continuing their duties so Philadelphians who need to can still get around.

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Charles Cole

Name: Charles Cole

Title: Subway/Elevated Train Operator

What I do: Transport passengers in a safe and timely manner

Job location: Fern Rock Transportation Center

Length of service: 26 years

“I know there are a lot of essential employees who rely on SEPTA, so I want to be here for them.”

 

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Ericka Deeds

Name: Ericka Deeds

Title: Station Manager, Dispatcher

What I do: Directly supervise the daily assignments, payroll, and other needs of 171 employees

Job location: Suburban Station

Length of service: 17 years

“When I took on my position as a manager, I knew the job would be critical in most aspects. I take my job very seriously because I’m doing my part in assisting seniors and ADA customers with their essential needs by getting them from Point A to Point B daily.”

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Bob Crain

Name: Robert “Bob” Crain

Title: Elevator/Escalator Specialist

What I do: Maintain the elevators and escalators throughout the system for B&B (Bridges and Buildings) CTD (City Transit Division) as part of EM&C (Engineering, Maintenance and Construction)

Job location: 5800 Bustleton Ave.

Length of service: 15 years

“During these difficult times, I take pride in ensuring that those in need of or are providing essential services are able to use our elevators and escalators to get to their destinations.”

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Darryl Myrick

Name: Darryl Myrick

Title: CCT Operator

What I do: Transport ADA and senior customers

Job location: Easton Coach

Length of service: 2 years

“I’m happy to be able to take people where they have to go, including dialysis and other medical appointments. They might not have other means of transportation. I’m transporting aunts, uncles, mothers and fathers. It’s rewarding at the end of the day because I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”

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Donald Collings

Name: Donald Collings

Title: Customer Service Agent

What I do: Respond to questions, concerns and commendations from customers

Job location: 1234 Market St.

Length of service: 20 years

“Being there for our customers is what keeps me going. It feels good to be able to help them.”

 

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Glen Guenther

Name: Glen Guenther

Title: Railway Signal System Maintainer 1st Class

What I do: Repair, maintain and test signals, including cable, electrical and mechanical equipment apparatus on railroad lines

Job location: Wayne Junction

Length of service: 30 years

“I have a positive outlook for the future of the Philadelphia area. When the riding public returns to work, we need to have all systems ready. This is my way of doing my fair share.”

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Edward Flynn

Name: Edward Flynn

Title: Bus Operator

What I do: Operate the LUCY bus in University City

Job location: Germantown District

Length of service: 8 years

“I’d like to start with the fact that I feel safe in my work environment, which alleviates some of the worry. Since I have the tools I need, I can focus on my passengers, many of whom are healthcare workers. I’m honored to assist them in any way I can because they are really giving 110% for our community.”

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Olivia Hopkins

Name: Olivia Hopkins

Title: Project Engineer (Civil Engineering)

What I do: Inspect all drainage structures in SEPTA’s railroad right-of-way

Job location: 1234 Market St.

Length of service: 5 years

“My friends and family in the health care field who are working long shifts without complaint inspire me to approach each day with gratitude.”

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Larry Pugh

Name: Larry Pugh

Title: Station Manager, Control Room

What I do: Monitor via CCTV all subway elevated stations for safety and security

Job location: Suburban Station

Length of service: 34 years

“I feel that when I decided to become a SEPTA manager, I knew that my responsibilities would extend well beyond the nine-to-five schedule of many other jobs. So many people are counting on us right now to do our best.”

 

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William R. Juliana

Name: Ofc. William R. Juliana

Title: Transit Police Officer

What I do: Enforce all local, state and federal laws on and around the transit system

Job location: Frankford Transportation Center

Length of service: 11 years

“My inspiration for being out here is knowing that the responsibilities of any first responder are very important. It’s equally important to know that SEPTA Transit is a team, and we always want to make the best effort to ensure the safe travels of our passengers.”

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Vaughn Morrison

Name: Vaughn Morrison

Title: Customer Service Agent

What I do: Respond to questions, concerns, and commendations from customers

Job location: 1234 Market St.

Length of service: 19 years

“It gives me a sense of accomplishment to be able to answer travel questions from customers who need to get around.”

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Luis Rodriguez

Name: Luis Rodriguez

Title: Director, Regional Rail Division Operations

What I do: Oversee any issues with operations related to Regional Rail

Job location: North Region

Length of service: 24 years

“The dedication and hard work that we demonstrate as a team on a daily basis pushes me to strive in our mission to make sure we get our passengers where they need to go.”

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Bernard Norwood

Name: Bernard Norwood

Title: Regional Rail Conductor

What I do: Conduct train, ensure safety of passengers, and collect revenue

Job location: Suburban Station

Length of service: 36 years

“As an essential employee, first and foremost, I enjoy being a railroad conductor. The responsibilities are tremendous and working with great co-workers makes it easier to work each day during this pandemic. The most important gratification is knowing that in transportation, during times like these, we have doctors, nurses, police, and many other essential personnel that are also on the front line counting on us being there to transport them.”

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Kevin Clark

Name: Kevin Clark

Title: Station Manager/Department Training Coordinator

What I do: Directly supervise maintenance staff and cashiers, train all new maintenance custodians

Job location: 69th St. Terminal

Length of service: 13 years

“What inspires me is knowing that I can make a difference by helping to build morale and bridge the gap between management and hourly employees during these scary times.”

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Gary Miller

Name: Ofc. Gary Miller

Title: Transit Police Officer

What I do: Enforce all local, state and federal laws on and around the transit system

Job location: Frankford Transportation Center

Length of service: 16 years

“I’m here to help the riding public any way I can – assisting people on trains, buses, or wherever else they need us. I want to be a mentor to my fellow officers and help guide the next generation of police.”

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Eileen Woods

Name: Eileen Woods

Title: CCT Dispatcher/Monitor

What I do: Monitor and adjust trips for CCT customers

Job location: 1234 Market St.

Length of service: 1 year

“I’m happy to be part of a team that helps provide mobility to our most vulnerable customers. I’m looking forward to restoring service to the rest of our riders as soon as possible.”

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Jesse Ransome

Name: Jesse Ransome

Title: Subway/Elevated Maintenance Custodian

What I do: Maintain cleanliness of stations

Job location: Subway concourses

Length of service: 8 years

“I’m tasked with maintaining one of the most challenging areas that we at SEPTA are responsible for. The concourse areas provide access for most of our daily passengers throughout the day. During this present crisis that we are all going through, I feel that my job is very important for everyone who needs to utilize our transportation system. I appreciate the importance of my job and feel confident at the end of the day that I made a difference.”

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Joe Donofrio

Name: Joe Donofrio

Title: Telecommunications Technician

What I do: Install, maintain, repair and replace telecommunication systems and all related equipment

Job location: Varies

Length of service: 4 years

“I love my job and I love the work I do. I’m proud of the responsibilities given to me and the confidence my bosses have in me to keep our telecom infrastructure up and running, especially in these unprecedented times.”

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James Stoutmire

Name: James Stoutmire

Title: Market-Frankford Line Station Cashier

What I do: Validate all fares presented and provide entry for customers

Job location: 15th St. Station

Length of service: 23 years

“I’m well aware that it’s critical that I’m healthy and able to perform my duties every day. I work at a very busy location and my presence has a great effect on all of my customers.”

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Teddy Joseph

Name: Teddy Joseph

Title: Tech Mechanic

What I do: Perform maintenance and repair on CCT vehicles

Job location: Whole transit system

Length of service: 10 years

“Operators and customers rely on me to get them where they need to go.”

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