For 9k students displaced by school closings, city, SEPTA launch apps for safe routes - Technical.ly Philly

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Sep. 10, 2013 8:30 am

For 9k students displaced by school closings, city, SEPTA launch apps for safe routes

In response to safety concerns, SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia both launched route planning tools aimed at helping the roughly 9,000 students displaced by 24 school closures get to school .

Sharon Poindexter, a WalkSafePHL volunteer, took part in a volunteer training session. Photo by Nathaniel Hamilton for Newsworks.

In response to safety concerns, SEPTA and the City of Philadelphia both launched route planning tools aimed at helping the roughly 9,000 students displaced by 24 school closures get to school .

SEPTA’s tool, School Trip Planner, emulates its SEPTA Trip Planner by providing routes to schools based on type of transportation, price and time of day. Visit it here. Read more about it on The Notebook.

The City of Philadelphia’s program, WalkSafePHL, maps walking routes to 23 schools. The routes were planned using crime and school district data, Newsworks reported. Visit it here.

Each of these routes, the city said, will be staffed by 260 volunteers, though Axis Philly reported yesterday that volunteer presence did not appear to be consistent around the city.

The maps have received some criticism, as Newsworks reported, for not being as comprehensive as some parents had hoped, though Anthony Murphy, the city’s Town Watch Integrated Services executive director who coordinated WalkSafePHL, told Newsworks: “I’m confident that we’ll provide the high level of support and safety that’s needed.”

Hackers at education hackathon TechCamp Philadelphia zeroed in on this problem last February, building SafestWay, an app that used crime data to map the safest routes to a school. The app is not currently live.

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes was Technical.ly's editorial product lead after reporting on the Philadelphia tech scene for four years. She's co-president of the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia chapter and a two-time Philadelphia News Award winner for "Community Reporting of the Year." The Bryn Mawr College grad lives in West Philly, likes her food spicy and wears jumpsuits often.

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