Almanac Between Issues

October 29, 2009

Advisory:  SEPTA Transit Strike Contingency Plans

As of this announcement, employees of SEPTA’s Philadelphia transit division are negotiating their employment contracts with the organization. If an agreement is not reached, a strike has been authorized and could occur without notice. This strike would affect SEPTA's bus, subway and Market-Frankford El service inside Philadelphia's city limits. If the Victory Division of SEPTA votes to support the strike, bus and trolley service to 69th Street would also be affected. The strike would not impact SEPTA’s other suburban bus, trolley services or Regional Rail, which are operated by different union workforces. We understand that a transit strike will pose transportation problems for many faculty, staff and students of the University. To provide assistance to those affected, Penn Transit Services has worked with the University of Pennsylvania Health System and Drexel University to develop a contingency plan for campus bus service and special parking areas. Details of this plan are available on

We also recommend some additional measures for departments and individuals that may provide assistance and help maintain regular University operations and services:

  • Administrators are encouraged to be as flexible as possible in adjusting hours for staff in order to meet the needs of individuals and the operating requirements of their departments.
  • Departments can facilitate car pools by setting up an employee communication system, e.g. designated bulletin board space.
  • To alleviate traffic and parking congestion, individuals living near campus are encouraged to walk or bike to work, while those in suburban areas are encouraged to take rail transportation (again, SEPTA’s regional rail will not be affected by the strike).
  • Whenever possible, schedule arrival and departure times for off-peak commuter periods.

During a transit strike, University business will continue as usual. The University’s attendance and leave polices will remain in effect. We urge everyone to make transportation plans in advance of the potential strike. Please allow sufficient time for the delays you will likely encounter in your commute. We encourage administrators to use discretion in making reasonable allowances for lateness attributable to transportation conditions. Any questions concerning the time off guidelines may be directed to the Division of Human Resources, Department of Staff and Labor Relations at (215) 898-6093.

Please review the contingency information prepared by Penn Transit Services which is available at To speak with someone directly, please call (215) 898-RIDE (7433).

– Marie D. Witt, Vice President, Penn Business Services
– John J. Heuer, Vice President, Penn Human Resources

Posted 10/29/09

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