• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM
By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Transport Workers Union Local 234, which represents SEPTA bus drivers and subway and trolley operators, voted Sunday morning to authorize a strike at the end of the month. That’s a major reason for concern for the millions of riders who rely on the transit agency for their commute.

Just thinking about a strike had riders shaking their heads. Derrick takes two buses to get to and from work each day. His biggest concern is if the bus drivers and subway and trolley operators decide to walk off the job, their bottom lines could be affected.

“People got to get to work and they got to pay their bills,” he said. “It can almost cause them to lose their jobs if they’re not there. So, it’s really bad for the public.”

He says carpooling or getting rides from others are potential backup plans if there is a strike, but not as convenient as hopping on the bus. So he wants those negotiating on both sides, SEPTA and the union, to put differences aside and get a deal done.

“It wasn’t easy. You have to depend on other people to get a ride or carpool,” he said. “These days that’s not even always available.”

The last strike affecting the subway, trolleys and buses was in 2009.

Geraline remembers it well. “Horrible” is how she described that experience. And so she has a simple message for the union and SEPTA management.

“Please don’t go on strike,” she said. “It’s hard for people to get to work.”

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