'Ghost Bus' Steps up During Philadelphia Transit Strike | NBC Chicago
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'Ghost Bus' Steps up During Philadelphia Transit Strike

Nearly 5,000 bus, trolley and subway drivers are on strike in Philadelphia

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    Jeannette Brugger
    Normally commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary, the "ghost bus" is now part of a shuttle service for a group of businesses, hotels and Temple University to transport employees during the SEPTA strike.

    The commute in Center City, Philadelphia, is downright ghoulish thanks to the SEPTA strike.

    But there is a friendly "ghost bus" making the rounds to whisk commuters to and from downtown locations and stops in the city's outer-neighborhoods.

    Normally commissioned by Eastern State Penitentiary, the bus is now part of a shuttle service for a group of businesses, hotels and Temple University to transport employees during the strike of the transit authority's 4,700 bus, trolley and subway drivers inside city boundaries.

    "It is one of ours. We have joined a local consortium of organizations and businesses to provide transportation to our staff, faculty and students, as long as they have proper identification," Temple spokesman Brandon Lausch said Wednesday.

    Temple's shuttle service (here's a link to their routes) joins a robust service that the City of Philadelphia is also providing its employees through the city Office of Emergency Management.

    More than 1,400 city workers and jurors were transported by the city's shuttle service Tuesday, day one of the strike, according to OEM spokeswoman Noelle Foizen.

    On the morning of day two, Foizen said 909 employees and jurors were transported.

    "We expect increased ridership this evening," she said.

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    The city service includes four free shuttle loops along the Broad Street and Market-Frankford transit lines, with 12 buses and six vans continuously running during the morning and evening commute.

    The same goes for the Temple/local business service: buses run from 6-11 a.m. and 3-10 p.m.

    Foizen did not say how much the bus service was costing the city.

    "We will have better numbers for the total operation post-strike based on length of activation," she said.