In the background of the labor dispute, SEPTA also had a difference of opinion with the city
, which we were hearing a bit less about. Apparently the transit company leases the subway lines from the city, and the original lease was set to expire at the end of the year -- or at least the city, eager to extract promises of improved treatment of city riders, claimed that it did, while SEPTA argued (in court until 3 weeks ago) that their involvement with some bond issues extended that deadline. Apparently they agreed to put off the fight for two years, buying time for
- the state to come up with transit money, which would make all such decisions a bit easier,
- some long-term planning discussions to take place, and
- some important city and state elections to be past, taking the pressure off politician participation in such negotiations.
Meantime, Councilman Wilson Goode appears to have somewhat different ideas, planning hearings on whether the city and its riders would be better served by handling its own subway service... (Expect that to be an interesting and heated debate!)