The Latest: SEPTA calls on union to engage in negotiations

PHILADELPHIA (AP) " The Latest on strike by about 4,700 transit workers in Philadelphia (all times local):

10:45 p.m.

Philadelphia's transit agency is calling on the union representing about 4,700 workers to engage in good-faith negotiations to bring an end to the strike.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said in a statement late Wednesday night that it's clear the strike is "causing severe hardship" for residents.

SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. says on several occasions this week, SEPTA negotiators believed progress was being made, but Deon says the union "brought a halt to negotiations."

Deon also is asking the union to assure residents that they will suspend the strike on Election day if no agreement is reached.

The union calls SEPTA's statement "outrageous" and is expected to issue an official statement Wednesday night.

The strike began at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, shutting down buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day.

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5:25 p.m.

Commuters are dealing with another chaotic evening rush hour in Philadelphia as a strike by city transit workers nears the end of a second day.

Highways and city streets remain jammed as a result of a big jump in the number of people driving to work.

Regional rail lines also are experiencing delays as a result of increased demand caused by the idling of city buses, trolleys and subways.

A spokesman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said late Wednesday that negotiations were continuing. The union representing about 4,700 striking transit workers had no immediate comment.

The city transit system typically provides about 900,000 rides a day.

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12:15 a.m.

Commuters in Philadelphia are facing another day of transportation woes Wednesday as a transit strike enters its second day.

The strike began early Tuesday after the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and a union representing about 4,700 workers failed to reach a contract agreement.

Buses, trolleys and subways that provide about 900,000 rides a day have been shut down.

The strike wasn't supposed to affect commuter rail lines and service in areas outside the city. But the transit agency says striking workers on Tuesday blocked some regional train crews from reporting to work, prompting the cancellation of a significant number of trains to the suburbs during the evening rush hour. SEPTA says it has since obtained an injunction to bar picketers from blocking such access

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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