Philly transit agency, union report progress

    Negotiators for Philadelphia’s transit system and the union representing thousands of workers resume Friday amid reports of progress.

    Officials from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Transport Workers Union Local 234 met informally Thursday night. Both sides said a possible two-year contract is being discussed.

    Union president Willie Brown called it the most productive meeting since talks began, and said negotiators are “close.” He said “There’s no reason why we can’t get this thing done.”

    A SEPTA spokeswoman says talks resume at 11 a.m. Friday. The contract covering most workers expired last month but officials ruled out a walkout before Sunday’s expiration of a contract covering other workers.

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    SEPTA, the nation’s sixth-largest transit operator, has annual ridership of about 337 million. A 2009 transit workers’ strike lasted six days.

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