Watch: SEPTA’s video captured bus-cyclist standoff

Did the bus give him the four feet of space required by state law?

The biker, captured on the bus's on-board camera.

The biker, captured on the bus's on-board camera.


Did the SEPTA bus driver give a cyclist who blocked the bus enough room as he passed him last Wednesday? You be the judge.

SEPTA released a 30 minute video to Billy Penn, including several minutes of the bus driver’s route beforehand, the moments when the bus passed the cyclist and about 20 minutes of the man standing in the way of the bus on Locust Street.

The cyclist went in front of the bus on Broad and Locust, where the driver did not pull into the bus lane as required. Not quite halfway between Broad Street and 13th Street, what appears to be a white work vehicle was parked on the south side of the street. The bus driver, traveling at 14 mph, passed the cyclist at the same time they were both going around this vehicle. State law requires four feet of space between cyclists and vehicles — and it’s unclear, based on the video, that the bus driver cleared that standard.

A few seconds later, the cyclist pedaled past the bus and stopped immediately in front of it. He yelled something and then put his arms up in exasperation. Soon, he pulled out his phone and appeared to either talk or at least hold it to his ear for about five minutes.

Before the cyclist got in the way, the bus was about one-third full. Several people got off immediately. Others waited, standing up in the aisle and getting a closer look at what has happening outside.

After about seven minutes, the bus driver backed up. SEPTA said this was his attempt to get around the cyclist, but it evidently failed, as the cyclist moved back closer to the bus and the standoff continued.

Twelve minutes after stopping, the cyclist took off his helmet. He also looked like he was playing with his phone. This was about the same time the passengers on the bus seemed to give up on the possibility of getting away from there soon. Several went from standing to sitting back down.

The video stops with the man still standing there after about 20 minutes have gone by. There was no sign yet of the officer who arrived at some point on a Segway. Cars and several cyclists passed by throughout, none of them seeming to give the scene a second glance.

Mornings in the know

Sign up for Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter for a daily roundup of Philadelphia’s most pressing news, top interesting stories, fun tidbits, and relevant events.

Thanks for reading another Billy Penn article!

We don’t have a paywall, and never will. Instead, we depend on readers like you to keep our newsroom jamming on stories about Philadelphia. If you like what you see, will you support our work?

Thanks for reading a Billy Penn story

We don’t have a paywall, and our daily newsletter is free. Instead, YOU are key to keeping our nonprofit newsroom running strong. If you like what you see, will you join as a member today?

This story was powered by readers

Readers like you make articles like this possible, so thanks for your support. Want to make sure we stick around? Become a sustainer with a recurring contribution!

Tell a friend about Billy Penn

Thanks for reading another article — and we’re grateful for your support! Want to help a friend start their day with Billy Penn? Send them to our newsletter signup page.