SEPTA to Remove Gender Stickers From Transpasses
Philadelphia Riders Against Gender Exclusion are celebrating today as SEPTA has announced to remove gender stickers from all monthly transit passes by 2015. According to a RAGE press release, “A fare policy proposal will be submitted to SEPTA’s board of directors that includes this change beginning in the second half of 2013.”
The campaign to get SEPTA to change this policy began in 2009, when RAGE members started collecting signatures for the “M” and “F” removal and met with SEPTA general manager Joe Casey, who then agreed to remove the fare stickers when a new fare system was implemented. However, as we’ve documented in the past, that system has been delayed over and over again, as Harrisburg politicians continued cutting the state transportation budget. [Clarification: SEPTA says the new Smartcard (tokenless) system is on its way to becoming a reality in a few short years.]
Hearings are planned for Spring 2013. “RAGE eagerly awaits this much-needed policy change, and intends to participate in the process to ensure that removing the gender stickers is a part of the final fare policy passed by the SEPTA board next spring.”
Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown recently advocated getting rid of the policy, too. She has previously worked with the Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club to get rid of the discriminatory practice, and introduced a resolution to Council that called on SEPTA to do so. “At the end of the process and debate, we want Philadelphians of all cultures, walks of life and backgrounds to get through each day without feeling discriminated against – without someone dimming their shine. We hope this resolution will move the needle further toward our goal,” she recently stated.