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NEWS
June 14, 2014
SEPTA officials plan to "impose" pay hikes of more than 8 and 11 percent on a pair of Regional Rail unions this weekend. For most Americans laboring under the dreary realities of the modern economy, such raises are an imposition devoutly to be wished. Remarkably, though, the unions say they would respond by going on strike, bringing the commuter lines to a halt. Stories of public employee unions choking on terms that would make their private-sector counterparts salivate have become commonplace in Philadelphia.
NEWS
June 12, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
In a last-ditch effort to avert a commuter rail strike, a federal mediator will meet Friday with SEPTA officials and leaders of two railroad unions. The National Mediation Board has asked the two sides to meet with its representative at 10 a.m. Friday at the offices of a Philadelphia law firm. SEPTA locomotive engineers and railroad electrical workers have said they plan to go on strike at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, following SEPTA's decision to impose management's terms to settle a long-running labor dispute.
NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA moved Monday to impose management's terms in a long-running labor dispute with Regional Rail workers, which union leaders said could prompt a strike that would halt all commuter rail service at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. SEPTA's goal apparently is to risk a strike now, when ridership is lower, than next winter, when more commuters and students rely on the system. Regional Rail trains carry about 126,000 riders a day. "We need to get an agreement now," SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said Monday.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
When SEPTA starts running all-night subway service this month, most of the stations will not be staffed. Cashiers will be on duty at 16 heavily used stations, but at the other 34 stations, passengers will be directed to pay the train operator. The operators will handle tokens, passes, transfers, and cash. But they won't make change. Uniformed and plainclothes transit police will be at many stations and on all trains in an effort to assure passenger safety, SEPTA officials said Tuesday.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA will spend about 3 percent more for transit operations in the fiscal year that begins July 1, and it will nearly double its spending on major construction and repair projects, thanks to an infusion of state money. The SEPTA board unanimously approved a $1.33 billion operating budget and a $572 million capital budget Thursday, without discussion. The operating budget, which includes no fare increases, provides money for a pilot program to resume 24-hour-a-day subway service on weekends, beginning this summer.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
With increased state funding and stable ridership, SEPTA officials are unveiling a five-year plan to attract more riders, repair crumbling infrastructure, and improve customer satisfaction. Having emerged from last year's doomsday scenarios into a hopeful era of what SEPTA planners call "innovation, integration, and renewal," the officials outlined Tuesday a blueprint for the future that was to be presented to the agency's board for approval in July. Meeting with transit users and supporters at SEPTA's Center City headquarters, Byron Comati, director of strategic planning, said legislative approval late last year of a $2.3 billion boost in statewide transportation funding has allowed SEPTA to plan more boldly.
NEWS
May 18, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Engineers who operate SEPTA Regional Rail trains will soon vote on authorizing a strike, the national office of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen said Friday. The engineers, as well as SEPTA railroad electrical workers represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 744, are in a federally mandated 30-day "cooling off" period that will end June 14. After that, it is likely that a presidential emergency board will be created to investigate the long-running labor dispute; that would delay a strike or lock-out by up to 240 days.
NEWS
May 17, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ending decades of divided control of the subterranean realm beneath Center City, SEPTA soon will be in charge of cleaning, maintaining, and repairing almost everything under the streets. That should mean improved cleanliness, lighting, and safety as SEPTA uses new state funding to upgrade the long-neglected passageways, agency officials said Thursday. A new 30-year lease with the city gives SEPTA responsibility for the 3.5 miles of city-owned concourses along Market Street from Eighth to 18th Streets and south to the Walnut-Locust subway station, as well as the elevators and escalators that serve the Broad Street and Market-Frankford Lines.
NEWS
May 15, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
A BOOZE-FUELED fight left a Delaware County woman so disoriented Monday night that she wandered into the path of an Amtrak train, authorities said yesterday. That woman, identified by a law-enforcement source as Laura Dehart, 50, of Folcroft, was pronounced dead at Crozer-Chester Medical Center late Monday after being struck near SEPTA's Marcus Hook station just after 6 p.m. How Dehart ended up on the tracks wasn't clear, but an employee of the nearby Star Hotel said yesterday that the woman and her boyfriend - who lives in an extended-stay room at the establishment - had gotten into a dispute Monday night and that alcohol was involved.
NEWS
May 14, 2014 | By Helen Ubinas, Daily News Columnist
THE OFFICERS who gathered in March to remember fallen SEPTA police Sgt. Thomas Sewell said they'd never forget the transit officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1989. But while they won't forget his service, one Philly officer has apparently forgotten something else - to pay back Sewell's widow the $15,000 he borrowed in 2006. After her husband's death, Jeanne Sides Sewell and city police Officer Patrick McCullough became friends at the Fraternal Order of Police lodge.
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