Three things to know in Philadelphia today:
SEPTA STRIKE OVER, BUT FARES WILL RISE: SEPTA has been planning to increase fares in 2010 ever since it last boosted them in 2007. Regular smaller increases are better, SEPTA officials maintain, than infrequent big increases. The day of reckoning is drawing closer. Raises likely would be scheduled to take effect around July 1, the start of the agency's 2011 fiscal year. SEPTA won't say how much fares may go up. But the agency has budgeted for a 9.5 percent increase in passenger revenue in fiscal 2011. A fare increase of that size could mean the cost of a token would go from the current $1.45 to about $1.60, and a weekly TransPass from the current $20.75 to about $22.75. But nothing's certain. (Inquirer)
...BUT OTHER CITY EMPLOYEES MAY STRIKE SOON: The SEPTA strike may now force 22,000 Philadelphia city workers without a contract to take action, after Mayor Nutter disclosed a huge, unexpected deficit. Philadelphia Mayor Nutter is warning there could be more cuts as the city struggles with an increasing deficit.During a meeting with City Council, officials outlined the grim outlook for the city's finances. Philadelphia is facing a $31 million shortfall. This deficit comes after significant cuts to city services with the closure of pools, libraries, and some fire houses. Some 22,000 city workers are affected by the negotiations. Their contract expired June 30th. (MyFoxPhilly)
HOW THE SEPTA DEAL GOT MADE: SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said last night that Brady, a member of the carpenters union, was the key to negotiations throughout the strike week. "After the process fell apart over the weekend, 99 percent of the credit for getting it moving again towards a resolution goes to Congressman Bob Brady," Maloney said. "Both sides were exhausted," he said. "The governor was exhausted. From SEPTA's standpoint, we had gone to our extreme limit. There was no further discussion. We had discussed the issues inside out and upside down to the point of futility. But the congressman never gave up. "He has a remarkable reputation in this city as a lifeline between management and labor," Maloney said. "When the two sides are at loggerheads, Brady's the go-to guy who keeps the conversation going, which is the absolutely critical factor in getting a resolution." (Daily News)
We’re hiding. We’re waiting on Harrisburg for permission to fix ourselves. We’re accepting defeat. We’re not punching people in the face for messing with us; we’re not spitting in their eye for looking at us the wrong way. We’re wussing out.
SEPTA continues its trail of terror as it defends the driving around of dead people on a public bus.
PhillyNow was at SEPTA’s Youth Advisory Council meeting last night, and there was little talk of the transit authority's budget woes.