PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA’s insistence on slapping Male and Female decals on TransPasses and TrailPasses — a practice that has upset the city’s transgender community — came under the microscope Tuesday in City Council.

At issue was SEPTA’s long standing policy of putting “M” and “F” stickers on weekly and monthly passes — to prevent spouses from sharing a pass.  It came up as General Manager Joe Casey testified before council on the transit agency’s budget.

Councilman Bill Greenlee said the transgender community finds it discriminatory, “They’re already in what they feel is often times a mistreated situation.  And it gets them farther into that.”

Casey said eliminating the stickers would increase TransPass fraud to the tune of $4-million a year, and he said new Smart Card technology would make the stickers moot, “Once that is in the works, our plan is to get rid of the ‘M’ and ‘F’ stickers.”

Smart Cards are expected in two-three years.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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