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Group Circulates Petitions To Get Gender Stickers Removed From SEPTA Passes

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A grassroots transgender group has kicked off a petition campaign urge the public to take a stand against SEPTA's gender stickers on transit passes.

The membership drive is called  "Ride With Respect," says Robin Markle, a member of Philly Riders Against Gender Exclusion ("Philly RAGE").

"So we are trying to get 3,000 people in Philadelphia to sign up and say they support the removal of the gender stickers from the passes," she says.

Markle says those who sign up will pledge to watch out for the safety of other riders and report any incidents related to the gender stickers.

"This is an issue that affects a lot of people," she adds.  "You don't have to identify as transgender or gender-nonconforming.  There are lots of people who just don't fit whatever a man or woman looks like."

SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says the transit agency set up a hotline about a year ago to report  incidents involving the gender stickers.  (The number is 267-21-SEPTA.)

"We are planning to implement new payment technology -- swipe cards -- in the next couple of years," Maloney adds, "and once we get that technology, this issue will go away.  We won't need the stickers anymore."

The M/F sticker policy has been in place for decades in an effort to cut down on fraudulent use of unlimited ride passes.

Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060

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