SEPTA released a comprehensive plan, “Leading the Way: SEPTA’s Response to Safety and Security”, detailing its ongoing strategy for addressing safety, security, and the challenges of the vulnerable population on the system. This population - which includes individuals experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and mental health issues - has increased in recent years, prompting the Authority to create its nationally recognized SCOPE program in 2021.
SCOPE - which stands for Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnership and Engagement - is SEPTA’s systemwide, coordinated effort to connect vulnerable individuals with social services and provide a safe, clean transit system for riders and employees.
The new strategic plan lays out in detail what the problems facing the Authority are, where they are on the system, and what SEPTA is doing about them. It also shows what every individual – from riders and employees to policymakers and the business community — can do to help.
“We are tackling some of the most difficult issues society faces, and we need the involvement of everyone in pursuing solutions,” said SEPTA General Manager/CEO Leslie S. Richards. “Our investment in SCOPE is critical to ensuring SEPTA can provide safe, secure and reliable service that supports our city and region through the current recovery and for the long-term.”
In its first year - SCOPE has mobilized scores of partners in government, the nonprofit and business sectors and academia to help address the challenges of the vulnerable population.
The Authority has also enhanced its security measures, increased its cleaning schedules, and vastly expanded the number of social service outreach workers on the system from seven to more than 50.
As workers return to offices throughout the region - SEPTA will continue to rely on its SCOPE strategy to ensure that its system is safe, clean, reliable and efficient. There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our riders, the vulnerable individuals on our system, and our 9,000-plus employees.
The SCOPE outreach personnel work in close coordination with the SEPTA Transit Police Department - which has increased patrols on trains and at stations in recent months.
“SEPTA knows that riders have concerns about safety and security on the system, and we are addressing them,” said Acting Police Chief Charles Lawson. “We have increased police visibility to deter crime, and we are closely monitoring feedback from our customers to respond to quality-of-life concerns.”
SEPTA will continue to release regular SCOPE impact reports that provide key performance indicators - such as the number of referrals of vulnerable individuals to services and the cleanliness scores of stations and platforms.
To view the full plan - click here.
And we remind riders, stakeholders, and neighbors - if you see something - say something. The SEPTA Transit Watch App has incident-reporting features that allow SEPTA riders to discreetly share safety & security tips with SEPTA Transit Police in less than 20 seconds. And it's FREE to download on both the App Store and Google Play. SEPTA Transit Watch is not just for customers with smartphones. Those with old-style flip phones can use “Text A Tip,” which allows them to reach SEPTA Transit Police with a simple text message to (215) 234-1911. And it furthers the Authority’s commitment to accessibility. The app provides a new way for the deaf and hard of hearing community to communicate with SEPTA Police. Additionally, the app includes visually-impaired functionality.