Philadelphia’s bus, trolley and subway system is paralyzed by a union strike called early this morning.
SEPTA’s transportation workers have been on strike since early this morning. The Philadelphia Parking Authority earlier granted cabs from surrounding counties permission to operate in the city.
(Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/ / CC BY-NC 2.0)
That doubled the number of cabs available to help stranded commuters during the morning rush hour. The parking authority regulates taxi companies.
Ronald Blount, the president of the Taxi Workers Alliance of Pennsylvania, says the added taxis helped avoid a total rush-hour snafu.
Blount: People were caught off guard with this strike. I believe within the next couple days people will be making other arrangements because taxi cabs are kind of expensive especially for poor people trying to get to work or school.
Blount also says cab and limo drivers are considering their own sympathy strike. He says his group will decide this afternon and provide advance warning.
Negotiations between SEPTA and the union crumbled last night, and the union started its strike at 3 AM.
Many commuters showed up to train and bus stops this morning not knowing about the strike. Lucky ones managed to hail a passing taxi. Others scrambled to catch regional rail lines, which are still running, while still others ended up hoofing it a long way to work.