SEPTA begins safety stand down Aug. 14

Aug. 14, 2023
All SEPTA staff will be retrained in safety best practices during the next eight weeks, starting with bus and trolley operators.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) began safety reinforcement training Aug. 14 for its bus and trolley operators. The authority’s entire workforce will be retrained in workplace safety during the next two months. SEPTA began with bus and trolley operators following a string of accidents that took place in July. The accidents include a trolley that was not in service operating out of control and colliding with a historic Philadelphia home about a half of a mile from where it was being serviced, as well as a collision between two buses on July 21 that resulted in one passenger’s death.

“The safety for our customers and employees is always our top priority, and we are redoubling our efforts to be even more intentional about safety in everything that we do, at all levels of the authority,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “The recent series of accidents has caused us to look internally with a critical eye to ensure we embrace safety as a core value every day.”

The one-day mandatory training will emphasize safety guidelines, including the need “to be vigilant about safety in all aspects of all jobs.” The training will also provide a forum for employees to give feedback. SEPTA says it is working with its employee union representatives to develop content for the safety stand down.

Because all employees will undergo this safety training, SEPTA is cautioning customers that service could be disrupted but vowed to minimize any service impacts the training may cause. SEPTA says it will provide service updates as the training progresses.

“We will start with our frontline employees and move through our entire workforce,” Richards said. “This commitment to reaching each and every employee means that SEPTA service will be impacted. When we say nothing is more important than safety - we mean it.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.