Monday, November 24, 2003


SEPTA will add extra holiday service on certain lines starting this week. In some cases, it involved either holding of certain trips and/or adding of extra trips. Unlike last year, there was nothing listed for extra 20 service between Bridge-Pratt and Franklin Mills Mall, however SEPTA has been known for adding trippers on the 20 without any publicity, so it's possible that there may be extra 20 trips running.


Normally, the last columnist in Philadelphia that I'd want to quote is Jill Porter, the uber-liberal feminist columnist from the Daily News, who has been known to write male-bashing columns in the past that could be described as "toxic." Yet, in today's Daily News, Porter actually raises an interesting issue (and, no, there's no male-bashing involved ... thankfully).

City Councilman Frank Rizzo (R-At Large) has initiated public hearings through Council's Public Safety Committe regarding excessive overtime charges by Philadelphia Police officers who work in a program called the Reimbursable Overtime Program, in which off-duty officers are permitted to work for private companies at overtime rates, with the companies paying the City of Philadelphia - in theory, at least.

According to Rizzo, however, many participating companies are neither billed by nor reimburse the city for the officer's services. As a result, the program is costing city taxpayers nearly $2.1 million as of the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year.

Why is this issue being brought up? Well, guess who one of the participating companies was...

None other than SEPTA.

This raises the question: Why is SEPTA hiring off-duty Philadelphia Police officers when they have their own Transit Police Department?

At this point, it is unclear exactly how involved SEPTA was in this program, nor is it clear at this time how much SEPTA paid the city - or whether or not SEPTA owes the city any money. Rizzo's hearing is scheduled to continue tomorrow morning. If and when more details become available, they will be posted here...

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