SEPTA strike averted: Talks continue, no contract yet

PHILADELPHIA - October 31, 2009

The Transport Workers Local 234 had threatened to go on strike just after midnight Friday if there was no accord with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. But the union agreed to Gov. Ed Rendell's request to keep talking until 6 p.m. Saturday, just hours before the start of the baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Yankees.

The agency's contract with the union - which represents more than 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators and mechanics - expired last spring, and members voted Oct. 25 to authorize a strike.

The Phillies and Yankees are scheduled to play the third, fourth and fifth games of the Series on Saturday, Sunday and Monday in Philadelphia. Most of the system's 810,000 riders use buses, subway lines and trolleys to get to work, but SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said about 8,000 people typically take transit to the baseball stadium for games.

Union workers, who earn an average $52,000 a year, are seeking an annual 4 percent wage hike and want to keep the current 1 percent contribution they make toward the cost of their health care coverage. SEPTA is offering no raises in the first two years and 2 percent raises in the final two years of a four-year contract and wants to raise the health care contribution to 4 percent.

A 2005 SEPTA strike lasted seven days, while a 1998 strike hampered the transit system for 40 days.

SEPTA announces strike plan

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

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

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