After working without a contract since April, Transport Workers Union Local 234 has called a strike authorization vote for 3:00 PM this Sunday, October 26th. If it passes, and there is no reason to suspect that it will not, a strike may occur at any time afterwards. This will be the first TWU 234 strike since October-November, 2009, and the second SEPTA strike overall this year, after the 24-hour Regional Rail strike in June. In 2009, TWU maximized disruption by postponing the walkout for a few days after the strike vote, and then striking immediately after the World Series left town.
In the event of a strike, all bus, subway, and trolley service will be suspended. Regional Rail service will still continue, as BLET and IBEW (the unions that struck last June) have agreed to contract terms with SEPTA. (This removed the leverage that came from threatening a simultaneous strike of all divisions, possibly precipitating TWU’s move to an authorization vote.) Other providers such as PATCO, Amtrak, and NJ Transit will be unaffected.
SEPTA management has finally given its standard signal of expecting a transit strike, and is preparing for massive crowds at Center City Regional Rail stations.
Keep an eye or ear on local news media beginning Sunday night, as SEPTA transit service may run or not run on very little notice, and prepare alternative travel arrangements accordingly.