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.

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.

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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