septa

At 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, a SEPTA workers strike could go into effect and impact over 400,000 riders who rely on the public transportation service. 

Photo: Zach Sheldon / The Daily Pennsylvanian

More than 5,000 SEPTA workers went on strike at 12:01 a.m., the Transportation Workers Union 234 announced in a statement early Tuesday morning.

At issue in the negotiations between SEPTA and the TWU were “healthcare, pension and non-economic issues like schedules, break time and driver fatigue,” 6ABC reported. The strike will affect over 400,000 riders.

Penn Transit released a comprehensive contingency plan on Monday to accommodate faculty, staff and students who need to use public transportation in advance of the strike.

Here’s what the Penn community needs to know about how to navigate the city now that the strike is underway:

Only SEPTA subway, trolley and bus routes within the city will shut down.

The Market Frankford Line, Broad Street and Broad Ridge Spur lines, Trolley Routes 10, 11, 13, 15, 34 and 36, along with all city bus routes will not be in operation in case of a strike, SEPTA said.

Train lines that serve the Philadelphia suburbs, such as Regional Rail trains, will not be affected by a strike.

For travel within Philadelphia, the only train line running will be Regional Rail lines, which are manned by a separate union, according to Penn Transit. Despite the expected increase in riders, Regional Rail trains will run on unadjusted schedules, except in the case of some express trains that will now make more stops to accommodate the increase in commuters, SEPTA said.

Outside of Regional Rail lines, the only trains available will be the Norristown High Speed Line, Suburban Bus Trolley Routes 101 and 102, LUCY (Loop Through University City) and CCT Connect.

Penn is partnering with neighboring schools and hospitals to provide complimentary transit service to affiliated staff.

The University is teaming up with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania Health System to grant temporary free transit service to “the staff of affiliated institutions and organizations such as Allied Barton, Bon Appetit, L.F. Driscoll and the Penn Hotels,” Penn Transit said in their contingency plan. Guest passes are available for pickup, when a strike is “imminent,” at the Penn Transit office at 3401 Walnut Street, Suite 447A.

Specific route information for Penn busing is available at the Penn Transit website.

There will be shuttle service along Chestnut, Walnut and Spruce streets, as well as on Woodland and Lancaster avenues.

A combination of shuttles offered by CHOP, UPHS and LUCY will cover routes throughout University City and West Philadelphia, with some service to South Philadelphia.

CHOP and LUCY shuttles are available to anyone with a valid Penn, CHOP, Wistar Institute or UPHS ID. To board a UPHS shuttle, you need an ID from either Penn, UPHS or Aramark.

Penn and Drexel buses will offer service to Center City. Specific bus and shuttle schedules are available in the contingency plan. Penn students, faculty and staff can ride either a Penn or Drexel bus as long as they obtain a guest pass from Penn Transit.

Uber is expanding carpooling options and offering free rides.

Uber’s carpooling feature — uberPOOL — is expanding on Nov. 1 to cover the Greater Philadelphia Area, Delaware and New Jersey to help alleviate congestion, especially along Regional Rail lines, according to an email sent to local Uber users.

In this past summer, Uber pledged $2.5 million through their Philly Moves Together Initiative during the Regional Rail disruption caused by the removal of over 100 cars after cracks were found in some of their weight-bearing beams.

All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.