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 1, 2017

'See Something Say Something' Gets a Technological Assist

Transportation organizations regularly remind the public to be vigilant when using their systems — to be aware of any suspicious activities and people exhibiting odd behavior, and if they see something, immediately say something to personnel or police.

August 8, 2017

Caught on Tape: Transit Employees' ‘Heroic Acts’

For transit employees working with the public on a daily basis, no two shifts might be the same and each day can bring an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the customers we serve. Often, the acts go unnoticed, but for two SEPTA employees, their special acts — both coming within hours of each other — were caught on video.

August 2, 2017

Understanding Streetcar Costs, Funding, Operations and Partnerships

On a per-mile, capital cost basis, streetcar systems typically cost more than bus systems, but less than light rail (LRT). One of the biggest contributors to this difference is right-of-way: streetcars and buses typically run within an existing roadway and thus require minimal property acquisition...

July 19, 2017

Reimagining the Public Transportation Rider Experience for the Digital Age

Transit systems move millions of people each day, getting us to where we need to go, influencing our moods, and shaping our collective stories. But, faced with fluctuating ridership, uncertain budgets, and the sky-high expectations of a digital savvy customer — open app, get car — how can centuries-old transit systems keep up?

July 12, 2017

The Case for Outcome-Based Procurement in Transit

Would you buy cash-handling services and dictate to the security firm what type of armored truck and cash counters to use? By the same logic, why would you buy an innovative transit product or platform and mandate how the vendor designs the technology? You likely would not — and why would you?

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