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SEPTA STATEMENT RESPONDS TO COMMENTS TODAY BY TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION LOCAL 234

 SEPTA STATEMENT RESPONDS TO COMMENTS TODAY
 BY TRANSPORT WORKERS UNION LOCAL 234
 PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- SEPTA issued the following statement in response to comments made today by Transport Workers Union Local 234 officials on the status of negotiations toward a new contract which should be in place by midnight on Saturday, March 14 in order to preserve transit service within the City of Philadelphia:
 SEPTA's negotiators see no reason why terms for a new contract with members of Transport Workers Union Local 234 cannot be reached by the contract deadline of midnight March 14. We are determined to reach an agreement which is affordable for SEPTA farepaying riders and for the taxpayers of the region, and fair to the approximately 5,200 members of the local.
 We will not elaborate on the contract details being discussed at the bargaining table but we can say that SEPTA's present economic situation is not good. In order to reach a fair contract for all concerned, it must be considered that SEPTA is directly affected by the recession which has driven ridership on the City Transit Division down by 3.3 percent during the first seven months of the current fiscal year. Even more significant is a ridership drop of 9.7 percent during the two years since January 1990.
 The financial deficit for the first seven months of Fiscal Year 1992 amounts to $6.6 million with a projected systemwide deficit of $28 million by the end of the year (June 30, 1992). All this has to be considered in light of the fact that none of SEPTA's funding sources have promised any relief to the current crisis.
 We are pleased that the State Mediation Bureau has entered the negotiating process and will be assisting both parties in working out the terms of a new contract which will affect about 85 percent of SEPTA's total services and ridership.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: SEPTA Press Relations, 215-580-7842/ CO: SEPTA; Transport Workers Union Local 234 ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


JS -- PH022 -- 2444 02/25/92 14:50 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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