The SEPTA Strike Hangover Is Slowly Improving

The strike clouds have parted, and trolleys and subways are running again (kind of). But your afternoon commute could still be a little hectic.

Buses, subways and trolleys will roll again starting this morning

Buses, subways and trolleys will roll again starting this morning as the six-day SEPTA City Transit Division strike has ended. | Photo by Flickr user Perry Quan

You’ve heard the good news by now: the weeklong SEPTA strike has officially ended.

Transport Workers Union Local 234 and SEPTA management have reached a tentative contract agreement, bringing roughly 4,700 striking employees back on the job. But that doesn’t mean things will immediately return to normal in Philly.

First things first: Here’s how you can get around today as the city’s subways, buses and trolleys are dusted off and put back into use for the first time in a week.

The Broad Street and Market-Frankford subway lines resumed service at 9 a.m. this morning. Trains are running every 10 minutes and servicing all stops, with the exception of the 5th Street Station along the MFL. The Broad-Ridge Spur line is not yet running.

Limited trolley service will resume throughout the day as well. Trolley routes 13, 34 and 36 began running at 10 a.m. You can check SEPTA’s System Status for updates on bus service.

Full service — subways, buses and trolleys — is expected to resume tomorrow morning, just in time for Election Day. Expect delays, congestion and some lingering commuting chaos until then. Traffic will be especially hectic today and tonight near Independence Hall, where the Obamas and Clintons (as well as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi) are holding a campaign rally. There are several street closures in that area.

SEPTA management had filed an injunction to force workers back on the job if an agreement wasn’t reached before Election Day. TWU President Willie Brown said that Election Day “didn’t really play a factor with me,” according to the Inquirer. “We were trying to get a contract, and that’s what we did.”

Governor Tom Wolf and Deon both thanked Representative Dwight Evans this morning for his role in resolving negotiations. Officials have not yet released details on the contract agreement, which is pending full approval by TWU and the SEPTA board.

The biggest sticking points in discussion centered on pension and health care, according to the Inquirer. The new contract will feature wage increases, higher employee contribution costs for health care coverage and a new way of determining pensions, the newspaper reports. Deon warned riders of impending fare increases, which are normal every two or three years. We’ll have more information on that as it’s released.

Mayor Jim Kenney and Wolf have both expressed relief at the end of the strike.

“The strike caused severe economic hardship because so many rely on transit service including the elderly and individuals with disabilities, as well as those who need transit to travel to work, school, and medical appointments,” Wolf said in a statement released this morning. “Now, these individuals can return to their normal daily commutes without the anxiety of disruption and the workers can return to their job and continue this important service for the people of Pennsylvania.”

Here’s what SEPTA riders are saying about the end of the strike on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/taramurtha/status/795678374605783040

https://twitter.com/_Midgee_Midge/status/795677943620141058

https://twitter.com/MerlzV/status/793800461371445248