By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA’s contract with its largest workers’ union expires one week from tonight, but the transit agency says riders need not be concerned.

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Transport Workers Union Local 234 represents 5,200 workers in Septa’s City Division — including bus, subway, and trolley operators.

A Septa spokesperson says face-to-face negotiations which started nearly two months ago are continuing.

But the clock is ticking:  the deal expires at the stroke of midnight on March 14th.

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Willie Brown, leader of the union, did not immediately return our call seeking comment.

A Septa spokeswoman, Jeri Williams, would not characterize the state of the talks.  But when asked if riders should be concerned, she said the transit agency is “very optimistic that a disruption of service can be avoided.”

Local 234 last struck in 2009.  That walkout lasted six days.

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