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NEWS
March 16, 2014 | BY ASHLEY KUHN, Daily News Staff Writer kuhna@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
The looming expiration of almost half of SEPTA's workers' contracts nearly put 825,000 weekday transit passengers in limbo at the start of the coming work week - but Transportation Workers Union Local 234's City Transit Division announced yesterday that its members plan to work without a contract instead of striking. Local 234's city division consists of 4,700 operators and mechanics who make up nearly half of SEPTA's workforce. Their contract expired at 12:01 a.m. today. Local 234 is also negotiating new contracts for SEPTA employees in the suburban Frontier and Red Arrow divisions, whose contracts expire the first week of April.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA riders won't have to worry about the possibility of a transit strike for at least three weeks. Leaders of Transport Workers Union Local 234 said Friday that Philadelphia bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, and maintenance workers will remain on the job despite the expiration at 12:01 a.m. Saturday of their labor contract. Suburban contracts expire during the first week of April, and "if a work stoppage becomes necessary," it will happen after those contracts expire, the TWU said in a statement.
NEWS
March 16, 2014 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
In its 124-year history, the Cynwyd train station has been a post office, a hub for coal transport, and a home where a postmistress raised six children. But, decrepit and empty for more than 20 years, it became an abandoned victim of SEPTA's budget woes. Then, in 2007, the collaboration of a nonprofit, local government, and a transportation authority began to turn a crumbling target of vandalism into something more. That seven-year project will culminate Sunday with the opening of the Cynwyd Station Cafe and Tea Room, an old-fashioned and newfangled incarnation of the Victorian-era building.
NEWS
March 14, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA's biggest labor contract expires Friday night, but an immediate strike by Philadelphia bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, and maintenance workers seems unlikely. Negotiations between SEPTA and union representatives continued Wednesday at the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. The contract with Transport Workers Union Local 234 covers about 4,700 SEPTA employees in the city, roughly half of all the transit agency's workers. Separate contracts expire next month with TWU 234, Suburban Transit Division, Victory District, which represents about 160 suburban maintenance and clerical employees; and TWU 234, Suburban Transit Division, Frontier District, which represents about 230 bus drivers and mechanics in Montgomery and Bucks Counties.
NEWS
March 5, 2014 | By Vernon Clark, Inquirer Staff Writer
A passion for art, vintage railroads, and little-seen places has inspired a local photographer to create a dramatic exhibit of one of the most hidden of hidden gems in the heart of the city. Lensman Bob Bruhin's "Secrets of the City Branch," on display at Brewerytown's High Point Cafe, offers documentary and artistic views of an old rail line through the Art Museum area and the Spring Garden section that some have seen as untapped potential. "One of the things I love to do is find pieces of the city that people aren't looking at, or that people walk by all the time and don't even realize actually exist," said Bruhin, 54, who lives in Mount Airy and works as a Web developer.
BUSINESS
March 4, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
How can it be that, even in the middle of winter, an underground concourse near SEPTA's Market East regional station smells like urine? Because that's not SEPTA's space to maintain, replied Joseph M. Casey, 57, general manager of the transit agency. "People say SEPTA stations smell like pee, and I say, 'Tell me where.' That has always irritated me," he said. "SEPTA's stations are clean. " SEPTA will soon take over concourse maintenance from the city, Casey said. The nation's sixth-largest transit agency celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA is celebrating its 50th birthday this month, marking a major step in the public takeover of the region's once-privately operated buses, trolleys, subways, and trains. Much more than names have changed since the days of the Philadelphia Transportation Co., the Red Arrow Lines, and the Pennsylvania and the Reading Railroads. Fifty years into SEPTA's reign, we have shiny new railcars, clean-running hybrid buses, a rebuilt Market-Frankford Line, some new stations and depots, rising ridership, and electronic schedules available on a cellphone.
NEWS
February 28, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The wife of a University of Pennsylvania professor wants SEPTA to accept responsibility for his death after a fall last month in a subway stairwell. Ellis Golub, 71, of Bryn Mawr, died Jan. 22 from injuries suffered in the fall Jan. 13 at the Market-Frankford Line's 40th Street station. Security-camera footage shows that Golub fell after he moved across the stairway to avoid a ladder set up at the bottom of the stairs by a SEPTA electrician who was changing lightbulbs.
NEWS
February 27, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
A proposal to have SEPTA or NJ Transit take over operations of the troubled PATCO commuter rail line won't win support from the New Jersey leadership of the bistate agency that runs PATCO. "That will never happen," said Jeffrey L. Nash, the Camden County freeholder who also is vice chairman of the Delaware River Port Authority, owner of PATCO. "PATCO is one of the most successful transit systems in the nation, with an extraordinary record of customer satisfaction," Nash said Tuesday.
NEWS
February 27, 2014
It's been said that you can't get to heaven on the Frankford El. After midnight, though, you can't even get to 15th Street. Though SEPTA officials are powerless to address the first fact, they're right to reconsider service during the wee hours, which would promote more use of a valuable public asset and encourage healthy trends toward a round-the-clock repopulation of the city. SEPTA officials told The Inquirer last week that they are pondering a pilot extension of service on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights, starting this summer.
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