In Light of Violence, Student Subway Passes Reconsidered

Subway violence and crime in Philadelphia have been unofficially traced to truant students, who are enabled by unlimited rides on the SEPTA throughout the week. Whether or not the student TransPass system should be eliminated is being debated.
December 1, 2008, 6am PST | Judy Chang
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"But SEPTA and Philadelphia School District officials said that the study was baseless, with no hard evidence to support its claims or recommendations.

Youth are responsible for half the violent crime on the city's subways, according to the study, and Butkovitz said that the TransPass contributes to the problem. The pass allows students to ride SEPTA an unlimited number of times weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., creating more opportunity for violence, especially by the 15,000 students reported truant every day, Butkovitz said.

Until the TransPass and, thus, the students can be tracked, a return to tokens and paper transfers would limit the number of rides per day and reduce juvenile subway crime, he said."

"The catalyst for the study was the fatal beating of Sean Conroy on a Center City subway concourse in March, Butkovitz said. Five truant students have been charged in Conroy's death, which occurred when he had a fatal asthma attack triggered by the beating."

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Published on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 in Philadelphia Daily News
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