SEPTA launches QR code reporting system to keep buses and trains clean

On a dirty bus or train and want to notify SEPTA? You’ll soon be able to do just that by scanning a QR code with your smartphone.

A SEPTA employee has a broom in hand at an outdoor station on the Market-Frankford line.

File photo: A SEPTA employee stands by with broom and basket at the spruced-up Somerset Station on the Market-Frankford line. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

A limited number of SEPTA buses, trains, and trolleys will be equipped with QR codes that riders can scan to report how clean or dirty their ride was. Posted near the exit doors, the codes will help SEPTA get a better sense of where cleaning crews need to work.

“As they’re getting off, they see this QR code. We’re asking them to consider scanning that and filling out a quick survey,” said SEPTA’s Andrew Busch. “For the most part, you’re going to be rating that vehicle on a scale of one to five, five being excellent and one being unacceptable.”

Those reports will then be sent to SEPTA to be analyzed.

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“We think this could be critical data for us, because what we can do is, particularly with vehicles that where people are seeing conditions that are unacceptable, we can compare that to when that vehicle was last cleaned and better target our efforts and determine where issues may be coming up, where we need to deploy resources better,” Busch said.

Initially, the QR codes will be added to just 10% of SEPTA’s fleet, but if the pilot program is successful, they could be added to all vehicles across the system.

“With buses, we can work them into the more heavily traveled lines to try to get more feedback there,” Busch said.

Cleanliness on the system and in SEPTA stations has been an ongoing concern for riders. Over the summer months, stations were closed on a rotating basis to allow for a deep cleaning that included power washing station platforms.

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