As you must’ve heard by now, a man died on a SEPTA bus Sunday morning about 4 a.m.–and the bus continued with its stops. Yep, how metaphoric.
The driver, Nakita Manfra, was driving the Market-Frankford Nite Owl route and first noticed the potential zombie (who was later found with a crack pipe) at the 69th Street Terminal, while he was still breathing. She alerted a higher-up, who told her to continue her route. She did, and stopped at 15th and Market, where field supervisor John Ammons determined the man was still alive. The driver was told to continue onto Frankford.
As it turns out, not only was continuing with the job normal procedure, but SEPTA officials are defending the decision to all but avoid the bus-riding corpse until arriving at Frankford Transportation Center. Agency spokesman Richard Maloney said of the incident: “There were no complaints from any of the passengers that we're aware of” and admitted the occasional bus dead man was “not that unusual.”
Seriously, if Nakita gets fired (and she better not, because that would be really messed up), Dick Maloney should start driving her route.
“SEPTA officials defended a decision not to call for medical help when a bus driver reported that a passenger—who later died on the Nite Owl bus - was unresponsive and drooling and had wet his pants early Sunday.”
Here are some more ridiculous SEPTA statements and summaries, as reported by local media:
“It’s not uncommon for a person to pass away on a SEPTA bus, according to the transit authority.”
“SEPTA defended the dispatcher's actions yesterday, saying that Leonard Sedden, 68, merely appeared to be asleep and that there was no evidence at the time that he needed urgent care.
Before the bus left 69th Street Terminal, its driver, Natika Manfra, expressed concern to a dispatcher on duty at SEPTA's control center when she couldn't "get any response" from the soiled passenger.”
"But the controller told the driver to keep going:
(Driver:) "OK, so just leave him on the bus, and pick up passengers?"
(Controller:) "That's correct. I don't want to delay service."
At least they waited until after the World Series home games were over. But the surprise strike by the Transport Workers Union caught Philly commuters off-guard -- and presented Mayor Michael Nutter with yet another crisis to solve.
Other city employees may strike soon. And the Daily News has the story on how the SEPTA deal got made.
PhillyNow was at SEPTA’s Youth Advisory Council meeting last night, and there was little talk of the transit authority's budget woes.