College students in Philadelphia feel SEPTA strike impact

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Students at colleges in Philadelphia not only have to figure out their homework, but also ways to make it to class on time in the wake of the SEPTA strike.

Temple University says many of their students use SEPTA's Regional Rail lines or live in dorms so they believe the strike is having minimal impact.

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The school has also hired shuttle buses to transport students to and from various sections of the city.

On the first day of the strike that did not always work as planned. A mob of students was waiting to get on one particular shuttle bus Tuesday afternoon, and the bus was not on time.

"Almost two hours waiting on this bus. SEPTA stopped running, shut everybody down, these buses are shutting everybody down," Jordan Watt of South Philadelphia told Action News.

"Two hours. Five went down the street, and then the one that came, it was packed to the gills. No one could get on it. It went right past us," said Babbete Taylor of West Philadelphia.

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At Community College of Philadelphia in Spring Garden, a commuter school of 35,000 students, there were many empty chairs in classrooms.

"We estimated that 25% to 50% of students, depending on the class, were missing today," said Dr. Judith Gay of CCP on Tuesday.

And those who did make it to class had to figure ways to get there.

"Oh, it's horrible. I used to take SEPTA all the time. Now I have to walk two hours to be here in the cold weather, plus I'm sick," CCP sophomore Qaisar Khan said.

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"It really affected me because I got to get to school and all my classes. I mean, luckily my teachers accommodated me. I had to take Lyft, which is hard because that's money. Lyft or ride a bike... and I'm not a big fan of bikes," sophomore Taylor Weisman said.

Some professors have come up with innovative ideas to accommodate students during the strike.

"What we decided to do is make some online lectures and put them online so that they could watch them on their phones at their convenience," Dr. Faye Allard said. "I will keep checking in on the students to see what suits them and see what develops with the strike. And hopefully this will work out fine."

Overall, it's been an adjustment for many students, some having to walk three miles or farther, others trying to catch an early ride from friends and family and arriving on campus long before their classes start because it was the only ride they could get.
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