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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) last week launched a new safety program that uses agency ambassadors to guide riders at stations.
The guides, located along the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines, will remind riders of riding rules, help lost riders and contact police if necessary. Later, they will take over the responsibilities of opening and closing the subway stations, which will enable police to patrol overnight more frequently, SEPTA officials said in a press release.
SEPTA awarded one-year contracts to three firms for services: Extrity LLC; Scotlandyard Security Services Inc.; and Philadelphia Protection Unit LLC. The firms will replace security contractor Allied Universal.
“While the guides will not replace police officers or serve an enforcement role, they will act as a force multiplier and contribute to the overall security of the system,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel.
The guide system is part of SEPTA’s Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement (SCOPE) initiative that seeks to enhance outreach efforts to members of “vulnerable” communities, agency officials said. Social workers and outreach specialists have joined the transit agency since SCOPE’s launch last year.