Providing Service for Those Who Served

Posted on July 15, 2014 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

Courtesy U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Courtesy U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America hold the 34th National Veterans Wheelchair Games in Philadelphia from August 12-17, SEPTA will have the opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to those who have served the Armed Forces.

The Authority will provide transportation for the more than 500 veterans with spinal cord injury, amputations and neurological disorders that will travel to Philadelphia from across the country and the United Kingdom to compete in swimming, basketball, quad rugby, softball, track and field and other sporting events.

RELATED: Para-athlete named Q'Straint brand ambassador

Supplying buses for the Wheelchair Games has been more than a year-long involvement for SEPTA and has the efforts of many teams, from operations and surface transportation to vehicle maintenance, as well as coordination with the Philadelphia VA office.

Vehicle retrofitting process taking place at SEPTA’s Berridge Shop. Photos: Harry Maxwell
Vehicle retrofitting process taking place at SEPTA’s Berridge Shop. Photos: Harry Maxwell

For the month prior to the Games, SEPTA vehicle maintenance staff has been retrofitting 22 of the Authority’s 40-foot buses, removing all of the lower level seats and replacing them with tie-down equipment to accommodate wheelchairs. Following the event, the seats will be re-installed and the buses will be put back into revenue service.

"We were excited about the possibility to contract with the Games and provide our buses for the athletes,” said Jerry Guaracino, SEPTA’s Assistant Chief Mechanical Officer. “SEPTA had experience taking thousands of visitors to the 2013 U.S. Open, but not hundreds of wheelchair passengers at one time. We knew that outfitting our buses would be a challenge for the Authority, but a task that we needed to undertake.”

During the Games, SEPTA operators will transport the participants and guests to and from event locations, the Philadelphia Airport, and other select locations around the Greater Philadelphia Region.

RELATED: Tri-Rail to give veterans with disabilities free rides

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games is the world’s largest annual wheelchair sports competition. “SEPTA is thrilled to provide transportation for the Wheelchair Games,” said Guaracino. “Not only is it exciting that our region is hosting these event and the exceptional athletes that participate, SEPTA is proud that we are able to give back to those who bravely fought for our country.”

SEPTA, like other transportation organizations across the country, has made an effort to bringing veterans into its workforce. Many veterans are currently employed in positions throughout the Authority and the company has made a commitment to hiring more former members of the Armed Forces. For the first half of 2014, almost 10% of SEPTA’s new hires in targeted positions such as bus operators, track laborers, custodians and rail conductor trainees have been veterans — up from 8% for all of 2013.



View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

September 14, 2016

How billions of dollars in transportation spending can transform our communities

Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent buying buses and railcars every year. Although the national unemployment rate has declined since the Great Recession, for low-income families and communities of color, the unemployment rate remains in the double-digits and good, family-supporting jobs can’t come fast enough. We need strategies that revive U.S. manufacturing and other industries that can create the kind of jobs we want.

August 17, 2016

SEPTA Pulls Out All the Stops to Transport DNC Attendees

The recently adjourned 2016 Democratic National Convention put Philadelphia in the national — and international — spotlight once again. For the third time in four years, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority transported thousands of visitors to the City of Brotherly Love and its surrounding counties. As with the U.S. Open in 2013 and the World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit in 2015, public transit was a key component for all event activities.

August 2, 2016

How Will the Sharing Economy Affect Public Transit?

Everywhere, evidence reveals how we’re moving into a less-consumptive, sharing-based society. Whether it’s people’s homes, torrent files or a car ride downtown, sharing is in. As environmentally conscious and economically prudent reducers and re-users, millennials are choosing non-traditional forms of transportation. This behavior has already had a huge impact on the way the transit industry is planning for its future.

June 15, 2016

'AIM-ing' High for Succession Planning in the Transportation Industry

How do you replace the institutional knowledge and subject expertise of a 40-year employee? You do it through succession planning, which is especially necessary in the transportation industry where senior level managers often have well over 25 years’ experience.

June 8, 2016

4 Things Every Transit Leader Should Know About Their Front Line

Lao Tzu, the famous tactician and the author of "The Art of War," wrote “To lead people, walk beside them.” As leaders, we sometimes forget to step outside of our own job duties to understand the unique needs and perspective of our workforce. With the many vital roles we play each day to keep our companies running, we may think our time is too scarce to walk beside our most entry level workers. It's a belief that has resulted in many organizations’ lowered morale and catastrophic financial losses.

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close