As Thanksgiving nears (along with all the uncomfortable conversations you’ll likely endure at the dining table), here are upcoming road closures and changes to public transportation in Philly this weekend. Read more »
If it was a little harder to breathe the first week of November, you weren’t just hyperventilating at the possibility of President Trump.
According to the the Philadelphia Department of Health, air quality was markedly worse during the six-day SEPTA strike. “At its peak, during morning rush hours, levels of fine particles, known as PM2.5, were four times higher during the strike than before,” the Health Department says in a release. Read more »
Willie Brown, the president of the SEPTA workers union that went on strike earlier this month, is worried his members may not approve the contract that brought the strike to an end, the Inquirer is reporting.
Brown told the paper that a faction of the union, Transport Workers Union Local 234, is opposed to the contract partially because of the schedule of pay raises it includes. The same faction has challenged his union presidency in the past. Read more »
I remember the first time I rode the New York City subway. I must have been 17. When we got on the subway at Penn Station, I was astounded by the way we paid for the trip. Someone dipped a credit card into a machine, and we all took turns swiping a MetroCard to get onto the subway. For a lifelong rider of SEPTA, this was incredible technology. I figured SEPTA would have something like this one day.
That day has arrived, albeit 16 years after that ride I took on the NYC subway. Today, I walked to the SEPTA sales office at 1234 Market Street and bought a SEPTA Key travel wallet. I put $20 on it. This allows me to tap my card to enter the subway or ride the bus; $1.80 will be deducted from my card. I can reload my card when I wish. I will never buy a token again. Read more »
The SEPTA strike is official over. Service is slowly returning to normal today, but riders have another question: What do I do with my TransPass?
Activists today handed out “Inconvenience Passes” in front of SEPTA headquarters and at Dilworth Plaza, calling on the transit authority to reimburse riders for the time and money lost during the SEPTA strike.
“SEPTA officials claimed in court that they are concerned about the health, safety and welfare of the public, particularly the poor, the disabled and the 52,000 students who rely on mass transit to get to schools,” said Erica Mines, a Philadelphia activist who led today’s protest. “But the inconvenience to riders stems from their refusal to negotiate a fair contract with SEPTA workers. If SEPTA is so concerned, the public agency should provide the people of Philadelphia a free transit ride for each day of the strike.” Read more »
SEPTA and Transport Workers Union Local 234 have reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year contract, bringing a six-day city transit strike to an end.
SEPTA Board Chair Pat Deon announced the agreement at 5:15 this morning. Read more »
SEPTA is trying to resolve the transit union strike by turning to the courts, but struck out in its first attempt at convincing a judge to force workers to go back on the job.
Calling the strike “a clear and present danger to the health, safety and welfare of our riders and the citizens of Philadelphia and the region,” SEPTA filed an injunction Fridays afternoon, seeking an immediate halt to the strike by Transit Workers Union Local 234. Read more »
The good news is that the week is almost over. Most likely all that’s left in your week of hellish commutes is one more trip home and then you’re done for two days. Or maybe you don’t have a Monday-Friday work schedule. Your commutes over the next two days should still be much better than they’ve been this week. It’s Friday. Exhale.
There’s more good news, too. SEPTA and Transit Workers Union Local 234 traded barbs over the past 36 hours, which means they’ve gotten that out of their system. The two sides have been negotiating again.
But the rest of it is bad news. Read more »
We’ve apparently entered the point of the SEPTA strike where the sides fight with each other in press releases to the media. Dutifully, we bring you these remarks.
On Wednesday night, SEPTA sent out a release titled “SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Calls for TWU Local 234 to Engage in Good Faith Negotiations.” In the statement, Deon said the union was unfairly hurting the citizens of Philadelphia: “A strike should be an option of last resort – and once you go out, there needs to be added urgency to reach an agreement and get back to work. On several occasions this week, SEPTA negotiators believed progress toward a deal had been made. However, at each of those seemingly positive turns, TWU Local 234 has brought a halt to negotiations.”
Deon said SEPTA had been bargaining in good faith and adopted an entirely new pension plan at the request of Transit Workers Union Local 234. He said SEPTA offered to remove current compensation cap on pensions and enhance benefits by 8 percent. Deon also said SEPTA also offered wage increases, “modest” health care changes — in five years, the cost of the “Cadillac” health care plan would go from $10 a week to $41 — and responded to operational concerns SEPTA workers had.
The union, as you might’ve guessed, has a different opinion. Read more »