“We sincerely regret this disruption,” SEPTA board chair Pasquale Deon said, according to the Inquirer. “This has been a long few days here.”
The union for the Philadelphia transit system has about 4,700 workers and has been on strike for almost a week. The transit system provides about 900,000 rides a day on trolleys, buses and subways as part of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority system, known as SEPTA.
There had been concerns about how the strike would have affected Election Day, as many who live in the area might not have another way to get to polls. SEPTA officials had said they had hoped to end the strike before Tuesday’s Election Day, noting that they did not want the walk out to “prevent any voters from getting to the polls and exercising their right to vote,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The two sides had disagreed over health care coverage, pay increases, pension benefits and other issues. The strike had caused serious traffic backups in the Philadelphia area’s morning and evening rush hours and a drop in attendance at the city’s high schools.
Deon, the SEPTA board chairman, said the deal is fair and gives “wage increases, pension improvements, and maintains health care coverage levels while addressing rising costs,” according to the Associated Press.
The new contract does have to be ratified by union members and approved by the SEPTA board, the Associated Press said.