SEPTA GM Leslie Richards: Bring Back our Benches

A graphic of metal "leaner bars" and the text "SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards: Please bring back our benches", with the Philly Transit Riders Union logo in the background

In October 2020, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, SEPTA quietly replaced benches with metal bars for riders to lean on. They did not ask the riding public if they wanted benches removed. SEPTA claimed that leaning on metal bars was "increasingly popular" with transit riders, but most transit riders have said they were not popular:

  • "I do work an eight to 10-hour shift at Walgreens sometimes, so I want to sit down after work from standing up all day"
  • "The elderly, they can’t even sit down. It don’t make no sense. We need benches where the buses stop for the elderly and disabled people."
  • "what's up with these leaners at certain terminals replacing regular benches? They don't really solve the issue. What about the disabled and the seniors or those with kids??"

In August a Philly Transit Rider Union member wrote to SEPTA GM Leslie Richards about this issue and received no response.  

So now we need you to write SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards to get our benches back and say that they can't just treat transit riders like we're nothing.