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Safety After Dark

October 25, 2011, Volume 58, No. 09

Some Tricks for Traveling More Safely

Remember: Fall back, Spring forward! On Sunday, November 6, Daylight Saving Time comes to an end. This means we can all sleep an extra hour Sunday morning and still have breakfast at the usual time. It also means we lose an hour of daylight just around the time most of us are heading home from work or school. Public Safety wants to remind you of the following tips on how to stay safe during your commute.

Public Transportation Safety Tips

•  Become familiar with the different bus and trolley routes and their schedules. SEPTA schedules and general information are available by visiting www.septa.comor calling (215) 580-7800.

•  If you travel underground, be aware of the emergency call boxes on the platform. These phones contact SEPTA Police. The phones operate much like the University’s Blue Light Phones. To operate the SEPTA Phone, push the button. A SEPTA operator will identify your transit stop and assist you immediately.

•  Whenever possible, try to sit near the driver.

•  In the subway station, stand back from the platform edge.

•  Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t become complacent while using your cell phone or iPod.

•  Don’t fall asleep! Stay Alert!

•  Avoid becoming a victim of pick pocketing

  • Never display your money in a crowd.
  • Keep your bag or purse close to you and in view.

•  Off Peak Travel Tips

  • If you use subways, especially during off-peak hours, stand near the SEPTA call box.
  • In case of an emergency there is a cashier’s booth staffed during hours of operation.
  • If possible travel with a companion(s).
  • Consider a Walking Escort by calling (215) 573-WALK (9255).

•  Emergency Phones at Subway Stops & Blue Light Phones

  • If you observe a potential safety hazard, would like a walking escort or require the Division of Public Safety’s assistance, you can use one of more than 500 blue light emergency phones on campus and in the surrounding community. Just pick up the receiver or press the button. 
  • SEPTA  maintains their own emergency call boxes. Become familiar with where these call boxes are the next time you are waiting for your subway or Trolley.

Additional Services Available to you on Penn’s Campus


LUCY (Loop through University City) is a shuttle operating Monday through Friday, from 6:10 a.m. until 7 p.m., between 30th Street Station and University City. Managed by the University City District and operated by SEPTA, LUCY is a great way to ease your commute. Rides are free for holders of a valid PennCard. Schedule and route information is maintained by the University City District. For more information visit: www.universitycity.org/getting_around/lucy

Penn Transit
Business Services’ Penn Transit offers various transportation services that you can use for getting around University City or simply just getting to your car. For more information, visit www.upenn.edu/transportation

Walking Escort (215) 898-WALK (9255)
Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, between 30th to 43rd Streets and Market Street to Baltimore Avenue. Escorts are also available from 10 a.m. until 3 a.m. between 30th & 50th and Spring Garden Street to Woodland Avenue via the University’s partnership with the University District Ambassador Program.

Riding Escort (215) 898-RIDE (7433)
Penn Transit Services: (215) 898-RIDE (7433) Monday-Sunday, 6 p.m.-3 a.m.; Limited on-call service, 3 a.m.-7 a.m. Visit www.upenn.edu/transportation

Penn Guardian
Penn Guardian allows the Division of Public Safety’s PennComm Center to identify a registered cell phone caller’s GPS coordinates (location) and additional information that will enhance the speed and effectiveness of the emergency responders. Additional features include setting a timer, which notifies PennComm if not deactivated before it expires, and a text message (text message feature requires an initial phone call to PennComm) feature to communicate with PennComm in an emergency. This service is free to all faculty, staff and students. To register, visit: www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/getpennguardian. For more information, visit: www.publicsafety.upenn.edu/pennguardian

Important Numbers:

University of Pennsylvania Police (on Penn Campus) (215) 573-3333 or 511 from campus phone

Philadelphia Police                                    911

SEPTA Police Hotline                                (215) 580-4131/4132

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia      (215) 590-3480

Philadelphia Poison Control Center     (215) 386-2100

National Poison Control Center             1-800-222-1222

Special Services (additional safety tips) (215) 898-4481

Victim Support & Sensitive Crime Reporting (24/7) (215) 898-6600

Public Safety Headquarters is located at 4040 Chestnut Street.

Halloween Safety, Too

       This is also a good time to pass some Halloween Safety Tips to any children you know:

  • Trick-or-treat in your neighborhood.
  • Never go out alone. Go with friends. Ask your mom or dad, older sister or brother, or a neighbor to go along.
  • Stay in well-lighted areas
  • Wear white or reflective clothing
  • Carry a flashlight, glowstick or reflective bag.
  • Watch out for cars.
  • Have your parents inspect all treats before you eat them.

Almanac - October 25, 2011, Volume 58, No. 09