BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — SEPTA officials are announcing changes to a popular bus route just outside city limits. After consulting with Bensalem officials, SEPTA says buses will no longer be stopping during the overnight hours at the Neshaminy Mall.
A bus stop hub is now on hold. SEPTA, collaborating with the Bensalem Police Department, has stopped overnight service here until further notice.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mother Pleading To Find Driver Who Struck Son In Hit-And-Run, 'Guardian Angel' Who Found Him
“Philadelphia’s problems were being dropped off here, and it became problematic for us,” Bensalem Township Police Director Fred Harran said.
Bensalem and SEPTA officials say destination-less riders, sometimes homeless, sometimes with substance abuse issues, coming from the city is the reason for the halt.
“Anyone who pays a fare has a right to get on the bus and travel and then they exit,” Andrew Busch with SEPTA said, “as long as there’s not an issue with their conduct on the bus.”
But what they found, officials say, are once off the bus at Bensalem’s final stop, those riders were taxing local law enforcement and EMS.
Harran says this is a solution to not arrest or prosecute those who don’t need to be.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Evil Genius Beer Company Giving Out Free Beers To Those Getting Vaccinated In May
“The police had to deal with them, where they were utilizing our EMS services coming up here because there’s nothing else to do with them,” Harran said. “They’re out of the city and they don’t know how to get home at that point. It became problematic for us.”
Service will stop from 8 p.m. until 10 a.m.
The Philadelphia Office of Homeless Services had this to say in response, “The city stands ready to work side by side with SEPTA on win-win solutions to these pressing problems so that everyone can safely get to work and have a place to call home.”
Eyewitness News reached out to Neshaminy Mall’s ownership for comment. They did not respond.
“It is private property, so they do have the right to tell us to not operate on that private property,” Busch said.MORE NEWS: Friday Night In New Jersey Looks Like Something Out Of 2019 As Restrictions Eased
SEPTA says they’re working to create alternate routes so those who have to get to and from work can continue to do so.