The SEPTA strike and the many ways your commute would suck

Regional Rail will be the only SEPTA option for transit passengers in the city.

SEPTA strike

Take the El or the BSL to work? Starting next week you might not be able to. Or take the bus. Or a trolley. Nothing.

SEPTA recently uploaded a handy little service interruption guide to its website in the case of a strike by its 4,700 TWU Local 234 workers. The contract for these transit drivers ends Oct. 31. They’ve said they will strike if a deal is not reached by midnight that day.

The SEPTA guide is fairly simple. And fairly terrifying. Here’s what happens if the TWU 234 workers strike:

  • The Market-Frankford Line will be closed down.
  • The Broad Street Line will be closed down.
  • Buses, trolleys and trackless trolleys will be closed down.

The El had 52 million passengers during the most recent fiscal year, and the BSL had 31 million. So the strike is going to affect many, many people.

The good news? You’ll still be able to take Regional Rail, as well as the Norristown High Speed Line in the ‘burbs, suburban buses, CCT (SEPTA’s service for ADA passengers) and LUCY (the bus loop through University City). Those drivers are represented by other unions.

The bad news? SEPTA notes, “as our daily Regional Rail riders know, service is already operating at near capacity.” To alleviate the crowds on Regional Rail, the transit service is recommending individuals and businesses “consider adjusting their work/business hours.”

When SEPTA dealt with a Regional Rail crisis this summer after the dozens of its Silverliner V were found to be damaged, Uber extended its UberPOOL program to the suburbs and encouraged drivers to work in areas affected by the shutdown.

So far Uber has no set plans for accommodating would-be SEPTA passengers in the case of a strike, but a spokesperson noted “we are exploring a few options.”

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