Penn Transit Steps Up During SEPTA Strike

December 7, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, gave Penn commuters a severe case of the Mondays, as thousands of University students and staff members awoke to learn the news of a strike that had been called by the leaders of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, who represent 5,100 drivers, operators and mechanics employed by SEPTA.

Transit strikes in the past have typically come with a 24-hour notice, giving commuters some time to organize a carpool or find another method to get to work. However, last month’s strike was announced without warning at 3 am, crippling the entire city while flooding the Philadelphia streets with cars and frustrated commuters.

However, Penn Business Services, in cooperation with Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS), successfully executed its contingency transportation plan and eased the pain of many stranded passengers.

Despite the 3 am walkout, Penn Transit had shuttle buses running in time for their first route at 7:30 am and began preparations for what was anticipated to be a chaotic morning rush hour. University-wide notices, one initially sent five days before the strike and another sent the day of, informed the Penn community of the contingency plan and offered alternate methods to and from campus.

Penn students, faculty, staff, and affiliates were permitted to ride any Penn, Drexel or UPHS shuttle bus for free. In addition, the three organizations all ran extra buses during morning and evening rush hours on multiple routes.

Over the five-day period of the strike, Penn transported over 2,000 passengers on their daily commute.

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