News

Philly transit strike begins, sending commuters scrambling

Written by The Associated Press | Nov 1, 2016 2:45 AM
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Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke

(Philadelphia) -- A strike by transit workers in Philadelphia is causing problems for morning commuters and concern for businesses that rely on the flow of daily travelers.

Just hours after the union representing about 4,700 workers called a strike after failing to reach a contract settlement at one minute after midnight, commuters are dealing with the fallout.

At SEPTA's 69th Street terminal in Upper Darby, just outside the city, Greg Lassiter, of Clifton Heights, says the strike will force him to pay more just to get to work.

The 30-year-old Lassiter settled on paying $11 for a trip via the ride-sharing service Uber.

Ramone Whiters, of Drexel Hill, says he was left in a lurch Tuesday because the car he typically takes to work is in the shop. He said he wishes the transit workers would strike in the summer and said it was too cold Tuesday to be stranded at the terminal.

At the nearby Philly Pretzel Factory, Jennifer Neagle is worried the strike will affect business as most commuters have said their goodbyes until the strike is settled.

Authority buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day.

The strike does not affect commuter rail lines and service in areas outside the city.

The union says the two sides remain far apart on pension and health care issues as well as noneconomic issues such as shift scheduling, break time and other measures that affect driver fatigue.

SEPTA says it's hopeful that a tentative agreement will be reached before Election Day, so as not to prevent any residents from voting.

The two sides continue to talk.

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