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CITY ORDINANCE BANS SMOKING AT MOST SEPTA FACILITIES IMMEDIATELY; WARNING-ONLY PERIOD UNTIL JANUARY 23

CITY ORDINANCE BANS SMOKING AT MOST SEPTA FACILITIES IMMEDIATELY;
 WARNING-ONLY PERIOD UNTIL JANUARY 23
 PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Under a new City of Philadelphia ordinance, anyone who smokes within the paid area of any transit station or at any enclosed regional rail station or terminal owned and/or operated by SEPTA within the City of Philadelphia will face up to a $300 fine and/or 10 days imprisonment under starting Jan. 23, SEPTA confirmed today.
 Effective immediately, all persons will be required to abide by the following smoking prohibitions, even though SEPTA and City of Philadelphia Police will not issue actual citations for a 30-day grace period through Jan. 22:
 -- No smoking in any enclosed rail station
 -- No smoking within the paid area of any transit station. (This means that once you pay your fare you may not smoke even on the platforms of "open-air" transit facilities such as the elevated stations of the Market-Frankford Line and Fern Rock Terminal of the Broad Street Line.)
 -- No smoking in all transportation terminals and centers.
 SEPTA said it has delayed the start of the 30-day warning period so that proper signs and other communications could be prepared in order to avoid confusion and conflicts based on a lack of information. The ordinance (Bill 1556) was signed by Mayor W. Wilson Goode on Nov. 6 after having been passed unanimously by City Council on Oct. 24. The ordinance is an extension of a 1943 law which bans smoking on all mass transit vehicles.
 SEPTA said that the ordinance not only provides authority to enforce no smoking rules at its enclosed subway stations and regional rail platforms, but widens the smoking ban to include elevated station platforms.
 SEPTA Police Chief Ronald Sharpe said enforcement of the new ordinance will start with a 30-day warning period beginning Dec. 23 during which SEPTA and City Police will issue warnings to those who are in violation of the ordinance. "Because this ordinance provides for substantial penalties," Sharpe said, "we want to make sure everyone has adequate notice. I am sure most persons will voluntarily comply with the new law. However, on Jan. 23, the warning period will end and the issuing of citations will commence."
 /delval/
 -0- 12/20/91
 /CONTACT: SEPTA Press Relations, 215-580-7842/ CO: SEPTA ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


CC -- PH032 -- 4408 12/20/91 13:45 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 20, 1991
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