Transit workers went on strike early Tuesday in Philadelphia, shutting down bus, trolley, and subway services that provide about 900,000 rides a day and raising fears a prolonged walkout could keep some voters from the polls on Election Day. A union representing about 4,700 workers went on strike at 12:01am Tuesday after being unable to reach a contract agreement with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, the AP reports.
Some officials fear that if the strike is not ended by Election Day, some Philadelphia residents may have a hard time getting back and forth from work and also finding time to vote. Businesses, hospitals, and schools began preparing last week for a possible transit shutdown. The strike will have a major impact on the Philadelphia school system, though it will remain open. SEPTA provides rides for nearly 60,000 public, private, and charter school students. Union president Willie Brown tells NBC 10 the union is on strike because after months of talks, "management has refused to budge on key issues including safety issues that would save lives and not cost SEPTA a dime."