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.

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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.”

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Smart Cards are expected in two-three years.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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