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SEPTA announces plan in case of strike

October 28, 2009 3:46:27 PM PDT
Warning "most service in Philadelphia would stop," SEPTA released its plan for commuters in case a transit union goes through with a strike threat.

Negotiations between Transporation Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA continue, but there could be a strike if no agreement is reached by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

SEPTA says, in the event of a strike, most services within Philly would stop, including subway, bus and trolley service. However, service in Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware and Chester counties would continue on regular schedules.

SEPTA adds Frontier Division buses would not operate in the event of a strike.

Regional rail service will run, however, and extra lines may be added to accomodate additional riders. Those customers are asked to purchase tickets in advance.

The following services would not run in the event of a TWU Local 234 strike:

  • Broad Street Line and Broad-Ridge Spur
  • Market-Frankford Line
  • All City Transit bus, trolley and trackless trolley routes
  • Frontier Division bus routes

The following services would run in the event of a TWU Local 234 strike:

  • Regional Rail
  • Victory Division buses, the Route 101 and 102 Trolley Lines, and the Norristown High Speed Line, with modifications for buses into Philadelphia.
  • LUCY service (Green and Gold) with regular routing from 30th Street Station to select University city destinations
  • Paratransit CCT Connect service for registered ADA and Shared Ride customers.

For SEPTA's full Service Interruption Guide and other related information please visit www.septa.org/strike

Information is also available through SEPTA Customer Service by calling 215-580-7800.

Contract talks continue

The two sides are still talking about work rules, and haven't gotten to the issues of wages, health benefits and pensions.

A strike could correspond with the end of the first World Series game in Philadelphia. About 8,000 fans use SEPTA to get to the ball park.

"Tickes are a thousand dollars a piece, so people can get to a World Series game. Our primary concern, our total focus, is on our primary customers," said Richard Maloney of SEPTA.

TWU Local 234 represents about 5,500 drivers, operators and mechanics. Salaries currently range from about $50,000 to $57,000 per year after four years.

The union wants a four year contract with raises of 4% each year, but said SEPTA is offering 0% for each of the first two years and 2% for the next two years.

SEPTA also wants workers to pay more for health coverage.

Workers have been without a contract since the spring. The union says the timing of this strike threat has nothing to do with the World Series.

"If you go back in history to 2005, we struck on October 31st, and back then the Phillies weren't even in the playoffs, I don't believe," said Willie Brown, President of TWU Local 234.

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