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SEPTA Launching Social Distancing Coaches To Ensure Riders Wearing Masks, Following Other Safety Measures

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- SEPTA is launching Social Distancing Coaches across its transit system to remind riders to wear face masks and other safety measures during the pandemic.

"It's just the simplest act of kindness we can all do right now," social distancing coach Jessica Mangold said.

A simple act of kindness goes a long way and in the SEPTA system, that means wearing a mask.

Mangold has been hopping around to different stations handing them out.

She is what SEPTA is calling a Social Distancing Coach. Her job is to not only enforce the agency's mask policy but also give out masks and offer general guidance on COVID-19.

"My mask protects you, your mask protects me," Mangold said. "Our system is very safe we've done enhanced cleaning programs. We've already had a robust cleaning system this is another aspect of safety for riders as they come back to work and ride our system every day."

SEPTA says mask-wearing compliance is up to over 90% in certain parts of its system.

"I think that if you give people the opportunity they will shock you with the kindness towards other people," Mangold said.

According to a survey released by SEPTA, the most compliance is on the Regional Rail system with 96% compliance.

City buses have a 95% compliance rate.

However, on the Market-Frankford Line compliance drops to just 63%.

"I would say nine times out of 10 they willingly take the mask and I actually do see them put it on," Mangold said.

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