The PPA Lost Almost $700K During the SEPTA Strike

All because it was trying to be nice to stressed-out commuters.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority lost almost $700K during the six-day SEPTA strike earlier this month, largely through efforts to alleviate commuter stress by offering grace periods at expired parking meters and discounted parking rates, among other accommodations.

The SEPTA strike began November 1st, when nearly 5,000 unionized SEPTA workers walked off the job and led to the shutdown of most public transportation in the city except Regional Rail. As a result, the PPA launched its Strike Operations Plan.

The organization was one of many that attempted to mitigate SEPTA’s lack of services. That includes local universities, hospitals and schools, as well as ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft and the city’s bike-sharing program, Indego.

Through its plan, the PPA offered a one-hour grace period for cars parked at expired meters and discounted rates of $10 for 10 hours and $15 for 24 hours at the PPA’s six 24/7 garages. Residential Permit Parking enforcement was also suspended from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and the PPA allowed parking normally prohibited on a number of blocks throughout the city. The accommodations lasted through November 7th, the same day the strike drew to a close.

“It was certainly important that the Parking Authority be a partner in that process, and at the end of the day, I think we offered a great opportunity for people to be able to access the city,” PPA acting director Clarena Tolson told CBS.

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