The Latest: Transit agency says dispute with pickets over

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Posted: Nov 01, 2016 5:44 PM
The Latest: Transit agency says dispute with pickets over

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the SEPTA strike by about 4,700 transit workers in Philadelphia (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

Philadelphia's main transit agency says striking city transit workers are no longer preventing regional train crews from reporting to work.

But the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says it was still forced late Tuesday to cancel more than a dozen trains that take commuters to the suburbs. It says the dispute caused systemwide rush-hour delays.

City buses, trolleys and subways have all been shut down by the walkout, which began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. But SEPTA's regional train service is still operating and its workers are not on strike.

SEPTA says it won a court injunction against the union. The union says it wanted to both protect its workers' free speech and assure full access to regional rail facilities.

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, no new talks had been scheduled.

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4:30 p.m.

Philadelphia's main transit agency is accusing striking city transit workers of preventing regional train crews from reporting to work.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says as a result, the agency is canceling a significant number of trains that take commuters to the suburbs.

Union spokesman Jamie Horwitz says it's working with SEPTA lawyers to ensure both that strikers can exercise free speech and that regional rail workers have "unfettered access" to SEPTA facilities.

SEPTA went to court this afternoon to seek an injunction against the union.

City buses, trolleys and subways have all been shut down by the walkout, which began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

SEPTA's regional train service is still operating and its workers are not on strike.

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4 p.m.

Philadelphia's main transit agency says striking city transit workers are preventing regional train crews from reporting to work.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority says as a result, the agency is having to cancel a significant number of trains that take commuters to the suburbs.

City buses, trolleys and subways have all been shut down by the walkout, which began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

But SEPTA's regional train service is still operating and its workers are not on strike.

SEPTA is in court seeking an injunction to prevent pickets from blocking access to facilities where its regional rail crews report to work.

A union spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

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8:30 a.m.

Drivers around the Philadelphia region were dealing with heavy rush hour traffic hours after transit workers went on strike, idling buses, trolleys and subways.

Traffic on highways into the city's downtown and some streets in Center City were backed up.

Morning delays are typical, but more people were expected to drive after the union representing about 4,700 Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority called a strike early Tuesday.

SEPTA provides about 900,000 rides a day. The strike does not affect commuter rail lines and service in areas outside the city.

The union says the two sides remain far apart on pension and health care issues, as well as noneconomic issues such as shift scheduling, break time and other measures that affect driver fatigue.

SEPTA says it's hopeful that a tentative agreement will be reached before Election Day.

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6:30 a.m.

A strike by transit workers in Philadelphia is causing problems for morning commuters and concern for businesses that rely on the flow of daily travelers.

Just hours after the union representing about 4,700 workers called a strike after failing to reach a contract settlement early Tuesday, commuters are dealing with the fallout.

At SEPTA's 69th Street terminal in Upper Darby, just outside the city, Greg Lassiter, of Clifton Heights, says the strike will force him to pay more just to get to work.

The 30-year-old Lassiter settled on paying $11 for a trip via the ride-sharing service Uber.

Ramone Whiters, of Drexel Hill, says he was left in a lurch Tuesday because the car he typically takes to work is in the shop. He said he wishes the transit workers would strike in the summer and said it was too cold Tuesday to be stranded at the terminal.

At the nearby Philly Pretzel Factory, Jennifer Neagle is worried the strike will affect business as most commuters have said their goodbyes until the strike is settled.

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2:30 a.m.

Transit workers in Philadelphia are on strike after the city's main transit agency and a union representing about 4,700 workers failed to reach a contract agreement.

The union went on strike at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, shutting down Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day.

The strike does not affect commuter rail lines and service in areas outside the city.

The union says the two sides remain far apart on pension and health care issues as well as noneconomic issues such as shift scheduling, break time and other measures that affect driver fatigue.

SEPTA says it's hopeful that a tentative agreement will be reached before Election Day, so as not to prevent any residents from voting.

The two sides continue to talk.