Septa unclear on how Upper Darby bus joyride began

    A Philadelphia teenager with severe mental health problems faces charges for taking a SEPTA bus on a quarter-mile joyride that began at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby Wednesday.

    A Philadelphia teenager with severe mental health problems faces charges for taking a SEPTA bus on a quarter-mile joyride that began at 69th Street Terminal in Upper Darby Wednesday.

    SEPTA has inferred the young man may have figured out a way to start the bus without a key.

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    The bus, taken from the Terminal, slammed into almost two dozen vehicles and a fire hydrant before it struck a utility pole and came to a stop.

    SEPTA’s Richard Maloney says they have a policy that buses are not to be running without an operator.

    Maloney:
    I don’t know if there’s a way to hot-wire a bus, but at any location – whether it’s in the depot or in a lot or on the street- is when the bus comes to a stop you put it in neutral, put on the parking brake, take out the key. It’s not much more complex than in an automobile.

    Maloney says they still haven’t found the key from the bus or figured out how the teen got it started and moving in the first place.

    But Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood has stated the bus was left unattended, empty, and running.

    The teen, a 16-year-old from a Philadelphia group home, is described by police as having significant mental-health issues.

    He’s faces an extended list of charges for the brief ride.

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