Another day of long lines and delays for SEPTA customers

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Commuters prepared for another day of long lines, delayed trains and gridlock on area roads as the SEPTA transit strike entered a third day.

Frustrated motorists fought traffic gridlock at morning and evening rush hours Wednesday during the second day of the strike.

Highways around the region experienced major backups as thousands of people who normally take city transit used their cars instead.

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Regional rail lines experienced delays as a result of increased demand caused by the idling of city buses, trolleys and subways.

The city's bike-share program was doing a booming business.

Gabby Richards, 23, said she was relieved Wednesday morning to get the last bike available at the stand near her home.

"I've been making my plans each day around Uber surge pricing and traffic," Richards said. "It's clear that something needs to happen to get people moving smoothly again."

Uber said it had 41 percent more unique riders during rush hours Tuesday compared with the same day the previous week.

Schools have also been affected, since SEPTA provides rides for nearly 60,000 public, private and charter school students.

The walkout, the ninth since 1975 by the city transit union, is the first since a 2009 strike that lasted six days.

Democratic city leaders working to help end the contract impasse expressed fears of it lasting through Election Day, leaving some residents with little time to vote Nov. 8.

In its statement Wednesday night, SEPTA asked the union to assure residents that, if necessary, they will suspend the strike on Election Day if no agreement is reached.
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