PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Latest on the SEPTA strike by about 4,700 transit workers in Philadelphia (all times local):
Frustrated commuters are calling on striking Philadelphia transit workers to make a deal as union members walked the picket lines for a third day and traffic congestion clogged city streets.
A union spokesman says contract talks are ongoing between its negotiators and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
The strike began early Tuesday after SEPTA and a union representing about 4,700 workers failed to reach a contract agreement.
Buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day have been shut down. Regional rail lines are experiencing delays as a result of increased rider demand as commuters scrambled to find another way into the city.
Commuters are bracing for a third day of traffic gridlock in Philadelphia as the city's transit agency urges the union representing about 4,700 striking workers to engage in good-faith negotiations to bring an end to the walkout.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said late Wednesday that a strike should be "an option of last resort," and when you have one, there needs to be added urgency to get a deal done.
SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. says on several occasions this week, SEPTA negotiators believed progress was being made, but Deon says the union "brought a halt to negotiations."
The union had not issued an official response to SEPTA's statement as of early Thursday morning.
The strike began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, shutting down buses, trolleys and subways.