SEPTA's 69th Street Terminal

Buses leave SEPTA’s 69th Street Terminal. — Courtesy of SEPTA

In case of a strike by the Transit Workers Union, Local 234 on Nov. 1, the Broad Street subway, Broad- Ridge line, Market- Frankford line, all city transit bus, trolley and trackless trolleys, will not run, according to SEPTA’s Guide for Service Interruption, released on its website.

The contract between SEPTA and TWU Local 234, expires Oct. 31. The union membership voted to authorize a strike on Oct. 24.

The major issues being negotiated by the two sides are: wages, sick leave, maternal and parental leave, along with compensation for families of union members, who died from COVID-19, said Willie Brown, president of TWU Local 234. Another issue is safety and security. The union wants a larger police presence in the system, to protect employees and commuters.

For its part, SEPTA said it continues to negotiate with TWU Local 234 in good faith. But the transit agency said it has been losing $1 million a day because of a loss of ridership, as many employees have been working from home as result of the pandemic.

SEPTA said it’s seeking a contract that is fair and financial responsible.

“Negotiations continue and are ongoing,” said Elvira Mendez, a SEPTA spokeswoman. “We are hopeful that an agreement can be reached without a service disruption.”

For the most part, suburban bus and trolley routes and the Norristown High Speed Line will not be affected. But there may be scheduling changes for some buses that normally travel into Philadelphia. Some will be discontinued. For more information, commuters should refer to the SEPTA Suburban Transit Routes section on its website.

Commuters will have to rely on the regional rail to travel into and around the city. According to SEPTA, regional rail service will operate more frequently to accommodate the expected ridership increase. Express trains may also make more stops. SEPTA’s Loop through University City (LUCY): Green and Gold Loop service will operate its normal routes from 30th Station to selected University City locations.

In case of a strike, all regular fares will apply. SEPTA weekly and monthly TransPasses loaded on SEPTA Key Cards will be valid for travel at all times at all Regional Rail Stations in Philadelphia, except Forest Hills and Somerton. At these stations, a Zone 3 Quick Trip or Pass will be required. Faces masks or coverings are required at all times on all SEPTA vehicles and stations.

SEPTA said that any unused passes, purchased before a strike, will be eligible for full or partial refunds. Customers must contact the Key Call Center at 855-567-3782. Cash will not be accepted at entry gates. Key Cards can be loaded with Travel Wallet funds or valid pass products. Key Cards can be loaded online at SEPTAkey.org; or by contacting the Call Center: 855-567-3782; or at Fare Kiosks at Center City rail stations, SEPTA sales offices and participating retailers.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia School District Superintendent William Hite is urging the transit agency and the union to agree on a contract. A strike, he said would have a “devastating impact” on students and the district’s ability to provide in-person instruction.

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