Commuters call on SEPTA to offer free Election Day rides, but is that practical?

Polling stations are usually within a five-block radius of a voter's home.

Hadas Kuznits
October 04, 2018 - 9:50 pm
A SEPTA consultant is recommending the transit agency look at several ways to improve its bus network.

Kristen Johanson | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Election Day is a month away, but some people have already started to think about how to make it easiest for others to get to their polling places on Nov. 6.

A petition circulating on Facebook is asking SEPTA for free rides on Election Day. Fran Kelly, SEPTA assistant general manager of public and government affairs, said at first glance, that sounds like a great idea.

"But to be perfectly honest," he admitted, "it's not what it seems. Most polling places are in short walking distances, especially in the city of Philadelphia."

In fact, Kelly said you would probably end up walking out of your to catch a bus to take you to your polling station.

"In Philadelphia, we're pretty proud of the fact that our polling locations are within a five-block radius," echoed Lisa Deeley, city commissioner chair.

Although he commends the effort and community conversation, Kelly recommends "good old-fashioned Philadelphians helping each other getting people to the polls. Find out: Does somebody need a ride?"

And if you're still having trouble getting to the polls, there are also absentee or alternative ballots that can be turned in. 

"But I like the idea and the enthusiasm," Kelly added. "We want more people to get engaged. More people should vote."