At12:01 this morning, buses, trolleys and trainsin the city came to a grinding halt, after SEPTA officials and union workers failed to hammer out a new contract. But for those of us who still need to get to work or class, we've compiled a handy guide for navigating the city until the strike is over.
A strike would shut down SEPTA's bus, subway and trolley services in Philadelphia. Regional Rail and services outside the city would not be affected.
Here's a handy chart:
As a precaution, SEPTA released acontingency planlast week for its estimated 576,000 daily riders. The transit service recommends using the Regional Rail for travel within the city, but admitted that the lines are "already operating at near capacity," and asked its riders to consider adjusting their work schedules to ease crowding on trains.
The Regional Rail is already experiencing overcrowding as it recovers from taking one-third of its rail cars out of service this summer for repairs.
City Hall announced a number of plans for the strike, including a free shuttle for all city employees. For those commuting to Center City or Old City, the PPA has imposed a flat rate of $10 at several garages. Find the full list here.
During the strike, no parking will be permitted on Broad Street between South and Spring Garden streets.
Meanwhile, the city's largest employer, theUniversity of Pennsylvania, has released its owncontingency plan: The university partnered withDrexel, the UPenn Health System and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and will provide free transit service to all employees of those and affiliated institutions at Penn. Staff of affiliated institutions, like Allied Barton, Bon Appétit , and L.F. Driscoll, will receive transportation-only guest passes.
Penn and Drexel will also run buses to pick up passengers from the 15th and Locust streets PATCO station in the morning, and will operate two afternoon pick-up locations: 3231 Walnut St., and 33rd and Ludlow streets. The service is free to all faculty, staff and students of both universities. For more information, visitwww.upenn.edu/penntransit.
Temple University has expanded its shuttle services for all students, faculty and staff to offer three routes: North and South Philadelphia, along Broad Street, and West Philly along Market Street. Visit Temple's website for more information on stops and how to access the shuttle. The university is also offering a flat-rate fee for parking at its main campus for the duration of the strike.
On Monday,Uber announced plans to expand its Pool coverage 800 percent Tuesday, to include all 154 SEPTA rail stations. Service will extend into Central Jersey, the Philadelphia suburbs and the Wilmington suburbs.
Zipcar is also discounting its service for people in need of transportation, and Indego bike share plans to increase capacity at several Center City locations, and offer a valet service at the Municipal Services Building.
Union workers approveda strikeearlier this month to begin at midnight on the first, when their contracts expire. Union officials said the contract dispute focuses on a need for pension reform, quality health care and safety and fatigue issues for drivers.
TWU 234 President Willie Brown told Metro the union could be striking for "as long as it takes." The walk-off could include anywhere from 4,500 to 4,800 SEPTA transit workers, officials estimated.