Union demands SEPTA do more to keep workers safe from COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — SEPTA workers say they're at risk for contracting the coronavirus on the job, and their union says the transit agency isn't doing enough to keep them safe.

Several of the workers who operate and clean SEPTA's buses, trolleys and trains have already tested positive for the coronavirus.

Brown also says his members should get hazard pay.

"Everybody else in the city, as far as the city workers, they're receiving hazardous duty pay. But SEPTA tells us we can't get it," Brown said.

In a statement SEPTA says it's already doing rear-boarding on its buses and trolleys, it's limiting the number of riders on vehicles and it's distributing hand sanitizer and gloves to front-line employees.

The agency is also trying to buy 10,000 masks for its operators. But SEPTA says it can't afford hazard pay, even including any grant from the Federal Transit Administration, because ridership has dropped so precipitously and much less money is coming in.