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NEWS
November 25, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Regional Rail engineers have asked federal regulators to require SEPTA to follow a safety rule designed to limit fatigue. SEPTA wants the Federal Railroad Administration to renew a waiver that the transit agency has had from the work rule for two years. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen asked the federal agency to deny SEPTA's request and hold a public hearing on the issue, citing accidents at other railroads caused by fatigued engineers. A sleep-deprived engineer was blamed for a fatal accident in New York last year in which a Metro-North Railroad train derailed while taking a 30 m.p.h.
NEWS
November 22, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA's board of directors on Thursday approved the recently negotiated contract with 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, cashiers, and mechanics. The agreement with members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 avoided a possible transit strike. The pact, ratified this month by TWU members, provides a 5 percent raise over the two-year term of the contract. But it postpones difficult decisions on two major issues that will resurface soon: pensions and health-care contributions.
NEWS
November 20, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Normal service resumed on SEPTA's Trenton commuter rail line shortly before noon Tuesday, about two and a half hours after a person was struck and killed south of the Bristol station. A 35-year-old man was struck by a Philadelphia-bound Regional Rail train between the Bristol and Croydon stations at about 9:15 a.m., a SEPTA spokeswoman said. The two-car train's 96 passengers were transferred to another train to complete their journey, and service was affected for trains in both directions until about 11:45 a.m.  
BUSINESS
November 16, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
A SEPTA worker involved in a fatal 2009 Regional Rail accident is fighting a federal effort to disqualify him from safety-sensitive rail work until 2019. Vance Almond, 57, of South Philadelphia, contends he is being made a scapegoat in the death of rail inspector Kevin Sparks, who was hit and killed by a West Trenton train on Nov. 5, 2009, during a transit strike. About 8:30 a.m. that day, Train 327 was coming out of a curve at 65 m.p.h., traveling south on tracks usually used by northbound trains, just south of the Melrose Park station, federal accident investigators found.
NEWS
November 14, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
SEPTA'S subway trains will keep on a-rolling all night long on weekends, even though they cost more to operate than the Night Owl buses they replace. Make that about $34,000 more, according to statistics from the transit authority. So why is SEPTA shelling out the extra dough for the service? To benefit the riders who executives say have served the company so well. "You have to look at the bigger picture," Richard Burnfield, SEPTA's chief financial officer, told the Daily News . "When we consider overnight train service, we see it as a benefit not just to SEPTA, but also to the people in the city and the entire region.
NEWS
November 8, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
Members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 on Friday ratified a two-year contract with SEPTA that will provide a 5 percent pay raise over that span. The sides reached a tentative agreement late last week after the union threatened to strike. The union represents 5,000 bus drivers, subway and trolley operators, cashiers, and mechanics. The two-year deal allowed both sides to postpone decisions on pension and health-care issues. The terms are expected to set the pattern for other unions representing SEPTA employees.
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
A 12-year veteran of SEPTA's transit police is facing criminal charges after allegedly masturbating on the Broad Street Line while off-duty, agency officials said. Officer Kevin Fant, 44, facing charges of indecent exposure and open lewdness, was expected to surrender Monday night to the Philadelphia Police Department, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch. "Disgusting and shameful," Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel 3d tweeted late Monday afternoon. SEPTA's social media team was tipped off Oct. 25 to an online video showing a man masturbating on a Broad Street subway car. The video was originally posted in August.
NEWS
November 4, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
THIS WAS far from a stroke of genius. Kevin Fant, 44, a SEPTA Transit Police officer, was placed on administrative leave yesterday after he was literally caught with his pants down, Jerri Williams, a SEPTA spokeswoman, said in a statement. A video of Fant allegedly masturbating on a subway train reached SEPTA's administration last week, according to Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel. The footage, recorded in August on a Broad Street Line train, shows Fant getting in touch with himself while off duty.
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
AFTER DEBATING FOR hours, SEPTA and its largest union reached a tentative agreement on a months-long contract dispute. Sources close to the negotiations said the transit authority and Transport Workers Union Local 234 had signed a two-year labor contract late last night, avoiding a strike, though no further details were immediately available. Late last night, several SEPTA executives, including General Manager Joseph Casey and board chairman Pasquale Deon, joined the proceedings, signaling positive progress.
NEWS
November 2, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA and its largest union avoided a regionwide transit strike by postponing the day of reckoning on two major issues that will resurface soon: pensions and health-care contributions. "I don't know whether I'm getting trick or treat," SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said as he arrived on Halloween night for the final hours of negotiations at an Old City hotel. In the end, he got both. By settling on a two-year contract Friday instead of a five-year pact, SEPTA and Transport Workers Union Local 234 gave themselves - and their one million daily riders - a reprieve from a strike.
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