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Regional Rail

NEWS
June 9, 1998 | By Rosland Briggs and Ambre Brown, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Inquirer staff writer Richard Jones contributed to this story
When a strike shut down SEPTA buses, trolleys and subways last week, commuters walked, carpooled and relied on the regional rail system to get around. When the trains stopped running yesterday, transit riders rose to the challenge again. Picketing transit workers shut down service on seven of SEPTA's 17 regional rail lines. SEPTA canceled most service on the R1 Airport line, R2 Wilmington, and the R7 and R8 lines into Chestnut Hill and Fox Chase, the R6 Cynwyd Line and the R7 Trenton.
NEWS
July 6, 2006 | By Larry King INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Less than a year after a weeklong strike stilled buses, subways and trolleys, SEPTA once again faces the threat of a shutdown - this time, regional commuter trains. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), whose 195 local members run SEPTA regional-rail trains, have worked without a contract for almost a year. Union leaders and SEPTA are at odds over wages. In November, the transit authority gave its largest union - Transport Workers Union Local 234 - a four-year deal with annual 3 percent raises.
NEWS
September 3, 1992 | By Diane Struzzi, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
Ask Ed Wilkes about the future of transportation in the suburbs and he'll tell you to look at Route 202 during rush hour. The outlook isn't pretty, he said, particularly if SEPTA eliminates its weekend service and some off-peak weekday service on its regional rail lines, as it has proposed. "People will get back in their cars," said Wilkes, chairman of the Upper Merion Board of Supervisors and a SEPTA commuter for 17 years. And he wasn't buoyed by what he heard at the authority's hearing at the Valley Forge Hilton in King of Prussia on Tuesday night, the second in a series of five meetings the authority held on its proposed cuts to the regional rail lines.
NEWS
September 16, 2011 | BY PHILLIP LUCAS, lucasp@phillynews.com 215-854-5914
FIRST, there's a thump. Then - lightning fast - a crunch. The inhuman sound erupted moments after Richard Dixon jerked the emergency brake on the train he was operating. Right away, he knew what it was - the sound of a body being crushed beneath his train. It was a 17-year-old boy. "It's really hard to describe," the engineer said, recalling the suicide that unfolded a decade ago as his Regional Rail train barreled north from Jenkintown toward Warminster. "You just know it - and you don't forget it. " For 15 people, trains speeding along the city's railroads have been a gruesome, but easily accessible, means of killing themselves over the past five years.
NEWS
March 22, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
For Philadelphia-area commuters, the possibility of a first-ever transit strike by all SEPTA union workers could loom large when a federally mandated mediation process for Regional Rail engineers expires later this year. After that, the engineers, who have been working without a new contract since 2010, would be permitted to strike. SEPTA's labor contract with city bus drivers and subway operators has already expired, and contracts with suburban operators and mechanics will expire in early April.
NEWS
October 13, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
FOR THE SECOND time in four months, President Obama has spared Regional Rail riders a big headache. Obama, at the request of SEPTA, yesterday called for the formation of a presidential emergency board that will help mediate an ongoing dispute between the transit authority and one of its labor unions, according to a statement from the White House. More importantly, the creation of the board will prevent the union, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, from striking, effectively shutting down Regional Rail lines.
NEWS
October 10, 2011 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA's new electronic fare-payment system may herald the biggest change for local rail commuters since the Center City tunnel was built 30 years ago. SEPTA expects to award a contract this month for its long-delayed "smart card" fare system, which will allow bus, subway, trolley, and train passengers to pay for their trips by tapping any "contactless" bank card on an electronic reader. Riders can use credit or debit cards they already own or get smart cards from SEPTA. The system is also being designed to eventually accept payment from smartphones.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Loretta Tague, an administrative assistant who lives in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, has a love-hate relationship with SEPTA's 17 bus. This is what she loves: Every five minutes at rush hour, a sleek hybrid roars up to the corner of 20th and Carpenter Streets and promises to speed her to Center City in less time than it takes to punch an e-mail into her phone. This is what she hates: All too often, the driver refuses to stop and let her board. On Monday, at 8:51 a.m., Tague, nearly in tears, sent her boss a text.
NEWS
October 15, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AFTER negotiating for five years, SEPTA has settled with one of its Regional Rail unions. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen reached a "tentative agreement" with the transit authority yesterday afternoon, according to a statement from union leaders. The parties approved a contract that, once ratified by the union's 200 members and by SEPTA's board of directors, would cover the union through July. "This agreement keeps the trains rolling in Philadelphia," union vice president Steve Bruno said in announcing the agreement.
NEWS
April 4, 2014 | BY DAN GERINGER, Daily News Staff Writer geringd@phillynews.com, 215-854-5961
WHEN THE LAST of SEPTA's contracts with its unionized workers expires on Sunday, the clock starts ticking on the time bomb of a crippling transit strike. Willie Brown, president of Transport Workers Union Local 234, which represents 5,000 transit workers, told the Daily News yesterday that he does not want a strike. But this is the same Willie Brown who suddenly called one in 2009, leaving hundreds of thousands of SEPTA riders stranded for six days. Brown told the Daily News yesterday that he won't accept SEPTA's initial offer of a five-year contract with no raises during 2014 and 2015, a 6 percent raise spread over the next three years, increased employee contributions to health care and no pension plan for new hires.
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