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SEPTA riders raise concerns about safety after violent weekend incidents

After violent weekend, SEPTA riders raise concerns about safety
After violent weekend, SEPTA riders raise concerns about safety 02:29

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- While Corey Walker waited for his bus in North Philadelphia, the two violent incidents that happened at SEPTA stations over the weekend were on his mind.

 "I thought it was just sickening," he said.

Law enforcement officials responded to two incidents hours apart Saturday night and early Sunday morning. 

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The incident Saturday was a shooting on a Broad Street Line train that injured a 20-year-old. The other was shortly after 1 a.m., when an unhoused man attacked another man with a hatchet.

Arrests were made in both cases, police said.

Walker said he uses the buses and trains every day. He said he constantly has to look over his shoulder.

"There is really not much you can do," Walker said.

It's a helpless feeling for people like Theresa Thompkins, who said she has no other choice but to take the train.

"I don't feel safe on the bus, I don't feel safe on the trains. I feel they need more security on the bus and the trains," Thompkins said.

Henry Roque agrees. He said he would like to see more officers present to help deter crime.

RELATED: SEPTA gets record $317M grant from feds, but it won't stave off looming "fiscal cliff"

"The role in this for us is to prevent, and if we can't prevent it -- make an arrest. And we're doing that," SEPTA Police Chief Chuck Lawson said.

Lawson said the agency is doing what they can to prevent crime. He said the agency recently hired 70 new officers and added SEPTA is using cameras to monitor activity on buses and trains live.  

Lawson said the issue of safety on SEPTA is more about perception than reality.

According to data from SEPTA, total crimes have gone down every year since 2020.


"I think it's unrealistic given the level of violence that we see in the city to expect it to never come on our doorstep ever," he said.

Walker said he is hopeful the new administration will make transit safety a priority.

"Philly right now is just dangerous," he said. 

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