Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Philly Transit Giving Trans People A Hard Time

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | July 27, 2011 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, RAGE, Riders Against Gender Exclusion, SEPTA, transgender exclusion

broken_bus.jpgCampus Progress reports that SEPTA, which provides bus, trolley, and metro services in Philadelphia and four other counties, is giving trans people a hard time, citing RAGE (Riders Against Gender Exclusion), a Philadelphia group.

People have to choose either a "male" or "female" pass, marked by gender stickers.

Each time you get on a bus or trolley, SEPTA employees are required to verify that your gender matches the sticker on your card.

"When we first started the campaign, we called out folks to report incidents where they had run-ins with SEPTA officials or customers over the sticker issue," says Max Ray, a member of RAGE. "We got dozens of stories and several had really clear instances where somebody felt incredibly threatened either by the driver or fellow passengers."

Sounds like SEPTA needs to clean up its act.

Check out the RAGE page here.

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The original request from SEPTA is dumb -- why do they even need to ask what the sex/gender of the pass-holder is? What difference does it make? Is there a price differential somewhere? I have a Senior Citizen half-price bus pass here in Indianapolis: all it has is my name, a color photo of me and the large letters: SENIOR. I didn't have to remove my underwear to display to the clerk what my plumbing is!

As I understand it, the gender stickers are supposed to prevent heterosexual couples from "defrauding" SEPTA by sharing a pass with each other.

My Metro North monthly pass has an F on it. Technically, conductors are supposed to notice.

I didn't notice when I first started riding, but back when I was still assimilating in the 1980's, my ex went to White Plains station to buy me a monthly ticket once. And as the clerk was preparing the ticket, she mentioned it was for her husbanc - the clerk told her that it was a good thing that she mentioned it, or else it might have had an F on it.

The reason they do this, is so that a "traditional" married couple can;t share a monthly pass. Husband working monday to Friday can't let wife use the pass to go shopping on the weekend. This is silly.

There is also a provision that we sign our passes. I have seen that provision enforced exactly once, and I think that was during a "rule book slowdown." The small print rules call for a signature. Technically, they really don't need both, and perhaps the signature is a better means to enforce the "single user to a pass" intent.

Month-long bus passes in Indianapolis have never required any sort of personalization -- it's perfectly possible for many folk to use the same pass within that timespan. Simplicity!

In nyc, half fare cards for bus and trains are color coded, blue for male and pink for female. I found this out years ago when my card was blue and a bus driver accused me of using some elses card. I simply went down to mta office and told them my card was the wrong color and they changed it. I'm sure it is not that simple to change but clearly its a violation of privacy.

My Metro North monthly pass has an F on it. Technically, conductors are supposed to notice.

I didn't notice when I first started riding, but back when I was still assimilating in the 1980's, my ex went to White Plains station to buy me a monthly ticket once. And as the clerk was preparing the ticket, she mentioned it was for her husbanc - the clerk told her that it was a good thing that she mentioned it, or else it might have had an F on it.

The reason they do this, is so that a "traditional" married couple can;t share a monthly pass. Husband working monday to Friday can't let wife use the pass to go shopping on the weekend. This is silly.

There is also a provision that we sign our passes. I have seen that provision enforced exactly once, and I think that was during a "rule book slowdown." The small print rules call for a signature. Technically, they really don't need both, and perhaps the signature is a better means to enforce the "single user to a pass" intent.

That is weird. I didn't resend anything, I have no idea how this came up a second time, all I did was reload the page so I could read comments.

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | July 30, 2011 6:07 PM

This is pure harassment of transpeople by bigoted bureaucrats. The policy makes no sense financially as it involves a needless expense. It is a hateful and wasteful policy!