Philadelphia transit strike ends as union, SEPTA reach deal, reports say

Jane Onyanga-Omara
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority buses sit out of service at the Oregon Avenue Depot SEPTA facility in Philadelphia.
Tim Shaffer | Reuters

A transit strike in Philadelphia ended Monday as a workers' union representing 4,700 employees and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) reached a tentative five-year agreement, according to media reports.

The six-day strike by SEPTA's 4,700 city transit workers idled subways, buses and trolleys that provide almost 1 million rides each weekday. SEPTA workers walked out after midnight Nov. 1 over issues including pension benefits and the amount of time off given to drivers between shifts.

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SEPTA chairman Pat Deon said the parties reached an "agreement in principle" Monday, according to NBC Philadelphia.

"We believe this agreement is fair to our employees, and to the fare-paying customers and taxpayers who fund SEPTA," Deon said, according to the broadcaster. "It provides for wage increases, pension improvements, and maintains health care coverage levels while addressing rising costs," he added.

The deal must be ratified by union members and approved by the SEPTA board.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that SEPTA plans to gradually restore transport services throughout Monday and a full service is planned to be restored before Tuesday morning — Election Day.

Fran Kelly, SEPTA's assistant general manager of government affairs, recommended that people do not use the transit system Monday morning.

"Getting to work will remain a challenge," he said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.