The Transport Workers Union Local 234, SEPTA’s largest union, announced a strike early this morning, just minutes after the World Series game ended.
The strike begins at 3 a.m. Tuesday, according to a statement from SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams.
TWU president Willie Brown said SEPTA and the union decided to stop negotiations when it was decided that the two sides could not negotiate any further, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
All bus, subway and trolley services in the city will be interrupted by the strike. Regional rail service, most buses operating out of the 69th Street Terminal and “LUCY” buses, which run through University City, have crews covered by separate contracts and thus will continue operations.
A guide to SEPTA service interruptions is available at septa.org/strike.
Business Services spokeswoman Barbara Lea-Kruger said that Penn has worked with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Drexel University to develop a contingency plan for campus bus service. Details can be found at upenn.edu/transportation.
The strike comes as Pennsylvania voters head to the polls for municipal elections. The Democratic City Committee filed a motion in Election Court this morning to extend polling place hours. The polls are slated to stay open until 8 p.m.
"Not only is the SEPTA strike hugely inconvenient for Philadelphians trying to get to and from work, it could also make it difficult for them to exercise their democratic right and vote in today’s elections," Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement supporting the motion.
Regional Rail routes are expected to see a surge in riders who typically use other lines. Extra service may be added on some lines to accommodate the increase in riders. SEPTA advised Regional Rail riders to purchase tickets well in advance of their trips.
The city transit system averages more than 928,000 trips each weekday, according to the Inquirer.
The union originally threatened to strike at midnight on Saturday if an agreement could not be reached. However, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Representative Bob Brady (D-Pa.) stepped in at the last minute to broker an agreement between the two parties.
The union agreed to allow workers to continue service until an agreement could be reached.
Under negotiation were health insurance contributions as well as wage increases over the next five years.
Transit workers had considerable leverage going into the weekend as thousands of riders used SEPTA to reach game four of the World Series and other sporting events on Saturday night. That complication will be removed as the series moves back to New York for the next game, which will be played Wednesday.
SEPTA workers last striked in 2005, stopping service for seven days.Comments powered by Disqus
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