Riders exhale, SEPTA will keep running.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority representatives and Transport Workers of America Local 234 leader Willie Brown announced a tentative two-year contract after emerging from hours of negotiations inside an Old City hotel.
SEPTA's largest transit workers’ union had threatened to walk off the job if SEPTA didn’t meet their demands of pension reform.
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The deal is for two years and includes pay increases, according to TWU Local leader Willie Brown.
"I'm satisfied with it," said Brown.
Brown made no mention if the two sides settled the dispute over pensions. He said the tentative deal needs to be ratified by union workers -- something that will happen in the coming weeks.
Negotiators, including union and SEPTA leaders along with political leaders, including Rep. Bob Brady (D- Pa.), spent most of Friday behind closed doors in hopes to reach a deal.
The tentative contract "is fair to our union employees, our customers and the taxpayers and balances the needs of our valuable workforce, while operating the transit system in the most efficient manner possible," said SEPTA board chairman Pat Deon.
The deal avoids a work stoppage, which could have happened as early as Monday, and would have halted all city buses, trolleys and subway trains and caused Regional Rail trains to become overcrowded.
SEPTA's city division, which is operated by TWU Local 234 workers, supplies about 900,000 rides daily, according to SEPTA.