SEPTA Contingency Plans Ready As One Union Contract Expires

SEPTA Contingency Plans Ready As One Union Contract Expires

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PHILADELPHIA -

Transport Workers Union 234 said Friday they would stay on the job even after their city transit contract with SEPTA expired at midnight.

A spokesperson for the union said pension, health care and length of the agreement seem to be the sticking points in a new contract.

The union has not voted to go on strike, and leaders say they likely would not until all their contracts expire on April 6.

In the meantime, SEPTA released their contingency plan Friday.

Without a new contract, the Market-Frankford, Broad Street and Broad Ridge Spur lines could close down.

"Hopefully they don't go on strike. Hopefully I can still be able to get on the train," said Jahmeer Faulcon, who relies on the train everyday to get to work.

"I might lose my job over it," he said.

All of the SEPTA buses and trolleys operating in the city could also be out of commission without the 4,700 members of TWU 234.

Some of the suburban bus routes could also be changed.

Portia Sperr takes SEPTA to get around Center City.

She would have to walk if a strike occurred.

"I'd be unhappy about it, not devastated, but unhappy," Sperr said.

The Regional Rail lines will still run, but SEPTA said a strike would make it busier than usual.

"That sounds like fun. It's already overcrowded, it's already. We already have enough problems commuting in and out with all the people. It just means a lot more people standing, which is not so fun for us," said rider Joe Armitage.

SEPTA said they could add cars to existing trains to create more room.

They said managers will also step in, but they're asking riders to be patient.

A strike could also put more traffic on the roadways.

"We think if we can work with some of the companies and large businesses in the area, that will definitely relieve some of the congestion," SEPTA Spokeswoman Jerri Williams said.

SEPTA said they have proposed a three-month extension, but the union told FOX 29 it would prefer to get things taken care of without one.

The last time the contract between these two parties was up, a six-day strike eventually ensued.

MORE DETAILS: SEPTA's "Service Interruption Contingency Plan"

SEPTA officials said the union didn't show for negotiations Friday. Still, they say, the lines of communication are open.

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