SEPTA ‘Ambassadors’ Remain Upbeat in Passenger Mask Giveaway

David Bjorkgren
By
Jessica Mangold (left) and Leon Vaughn are SEPTA social distancing coaches.Image via Kimberly Paynter, WHYY.

SEPTA’s using a non-confrontational approach to encourage its passengers to wear masks and socially distance, writes Michaela Winberg for billypenn.com.

“Social distancing coaches” have been fanning out to different SEPTA stations offering free disposable masks.

Response has largely been positive, though mixed. Many appreciate the offer.

Others pull masks back up in place when they see the ambassadors.  Still others with no masks ignore the offer completely.

The coaches don’t correct people’s behavior. They just hand out fresh masks.

The pandemic pilot program is part of SEPTA’s ambassador program. SEPTA employees volunteer to help riders.

They helped passengers navigate the new SEPTA key cards. They direct people to the Philadelphia Flower Show.

SEPTA added the non-confrontational mask offer after Philadelphia police removed a man from a SEPTA bus a few months ago for refusing to wear a mask.

“There’s that  old saying, you catch more bees with honey,” said Leon Vaughn, a SEPTA station manager who volunteered as a social distance coach. “That’s just my way of thinking.”

Masks are mandatory on SEPTA vehicles, but the mandate is not being enforced.

The pilot program will run through August.

Read more about SEPTA’s non-confrontational mask program here.

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