Nearly 11 years ago, SEPTA workers went on strike over issues like pay, health care and pensions. The strike went into effect early on a Monday morning, when the workers’ union and SEPTA management could not iron out an agreement before the deadline, Nov. 1.
Temple had plans in place so that students, faculty and staff could get to their destinations. The university ran seven shuttles along Broad Street from 5 a.m. to midnight each day of the week-long strike, accessible to anyone holding a valid OWLcard.
This year, another strike is possible because of disagreements over the same issues, spokesmen for the union and SEPTA said this week. The workers in question are involved with SEPTA’s buses, subways and trolleys. A university survey about transportation showed that nearly 29 percent of students, faculty and staff commute by these three transportation options.
If the strike does indeed go into effect next Tuesday, the university ought to run a similar shuttle system. And professors should be sympathetic to commuting students by offering extensions and leeway on assignments where feasible.
Currently, a university spokesman said Temple is monitoring the situation to see if services will need to change.
Earlier this month, we wrote an editorial about how the university needs to better accommodate the needs of commuters. If SEPTA workers do end up striking, the university will have an opportunity to show a renewed commitment to Temple’s commuter community.
One potential way to help accommodate commuters on an increasingly residential campus would be to reinstate the shuttle routes from 2005, and help ensure that they get the same treatment as students who can walk or bike to class from a place around campus.