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2 posts from October 2014


Possible SEPTA Strike Update

Dear Campus Community,

As of this writing, SEPTA continues to run normally; however, the threat of strike that would impact city services (Regional Rail and select other services are not affected) remains.

It never hurts to plan ahead, so as a reminder important information has been posted at http://emergency.usciences.edu about our strike plan and the services we are able to provide to our USciences community.

Also, if you have not already done so, please take a short survey regarding your commute to campus: http://bit.ly/septa-survey2 in order that we can plan effectively if there is a service disruption.

In the event that a SEPTA strike occurs, we will notify the campus via the emergency alert text/email system and usciences.edu that we have activated our strike contingency plan. Not signed up for the emergency alert system? Sign up at https://alert.usciences.edu/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fdefault.aspx.

We continue to hope a strike will be averted but are prepared in the event there is one.


The Campus Emergency Response Team


Septa Strike Emergency Response Plan





According to the latest information we have, there is the potential for a SEPTA strike beginning Monday, Oct. 27, 2014, that would affect buses, trolleys, and subways.


We ask that all students, faculty, and staff make alternate transportation plans well in advance of the strike if you are affected by a shutdown of SEPTA's services.


Students, faculty and staff should allow sufficient travel time and anticipate delays due to increased vehicular traffic and the increase in ridership on available services. The Emergency Response Team recommends that individuals use alternate means of transportation such as, walking, biking, and car pools.


While no definitive information has been posted, below are the affected services based on previous strike planning.



Market-Frankford Line

Broad Street Line/Broad Ridge Spur Line

ALL City Bus, Trolley, and Trackless Trolley Routes



Regional Rail

Norristown High Speed Line

Trolleys Routes 101 and 102

Suburban buses (will not stop in Philadelphia)
Shuttle and LUCY (Loop through University City): Will operate regular service

CCT Connect: Regular service will operate for registered ADA and Shared Ride customers. There may be some delays due to increased demand and local street traffic.



  • To maintain normal business and academic operations
    • Provide reasonable accommodations and transportation services to students, staff, faculty, and SODEXO employees



Should the strike occur Public Safety will notify the campus community via the Emergency Alert System; including text, email, the usciences.edu website, and the emergency.usciences.edu website. Sign up for text alerts here:https://alert.usciences.edu/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2fdefault.aspx.






The Emergency Response Team anticipates the need for increased parking on and off campus, and we encourage individuals to car pool due to the limited amount of parking available on and off campus. Please visit the Blackboard site under the Community Tab in the Community Marketplace Box to encourage carpooling should the strike occur.  There is a separate section for employees and students. In the event of a strike, the University will continue to enforce parking regulations so individuals with parking permits can park in their assigned parking lots.



There are a limited number of temporary parking permits available on a first come basis at a cost of $5.00 for a daily pass and $15.00 for a weekly pass. The passes are avalable now; individuals can contact Terry Reilly of Auxiliary Services located in Wilson for additional information. You will need to provide the year, make, model, and plate number of the vehicle.



In the event that all parking at USciences is filled, the University has arranged for additional parking off site at The Parking Spot (7780 Essington Ave.). The cost is $7.16 per day for self-parking. For those who pay for a monthly or temporary USciences parking tag, you will be required to show your parking permit and ID and you will not be charged.  Those who do not have a permit will be required to pay upon exit.  To learn more about The Parking Spot, visit http://www.theparkingspot.com/locations/locations.aspx?ID=69



The University will provide round-trip shuttle service from three locations for commuters at 30th St. Station or 69th St. Station and those who need to park at The Parking Spot.

  • The shuttles will run continuously from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and then from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • After 6:30 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, the shuttles will leave hourly until a final run at 9:30 p.m.
  • All shuttles will leave and drop off passengers in front of the Starbucks at 42nd St. and Woodland Ave.
  • At 30th St. Station, please meet the shuttle on JFK Blvd. near where the Megabus and Bolt buses park.
  • At 69th St. Station, please meet the shuttle on the corner of 69th Street and Market in the SEPTA bus stop.



Since the strike will not affect Regional Rail service, please consider getting on and off the train at the University City stop (3149 Convention Blvd.). This station is about a one mile walk to campus.



Individuals parking vehicles near the campus are encouraged not to leave any items in the vehicle, especially GPS Navigation Systems, computers, book bags, cell phones, iPods and money.



In addition, the Penn Transit Service contracted by the University will be available, but you can expect delays in service due to an increase in ridership.  Students, faculty, and staff will call 215-898-7433 and request pick up in front of Mayes College.  More information about Penn Transit Service is available on their website:  http://cms.business-services.upenn.edu/transportation/




  • Regularly Check The Website For Updates
  • Plan Ahead
  • Make Alternate Transportation Plans
  • Expect Delays and Allow Sufficient Travel Time
  • Travel Light – Carry On Items Must Fit On Your Lap
  • Car Pool
  • When Parking Remove All Valuables From The Vehicle


Please call Public Safety with any questions at 215-895-1117.



Flexible work hours for non-essential personnel will need to be managed by each department supervisor and the ability to log in via VPN (see below). Employees should check with their supervisors for permission to work remotely.


Information Technology has identified several considerations for faculty and staff related to technology usage. However, faculty who are not teaching are being encouraged to work remotely when possible. Please make use of conference calls and other communication services.


Asynchronous Teaching
Should there be any disruption in planned classes, we encourage faculty to take advantage of Panopto to record lectures and/or other course content. For those who have not used this tool before, please be sure to contact the AT department to make sure you have the proper software installed and Blackboard configured appropriately to host the recordings. Email av@usciences.edu or call x7575 and PRESS 3. More information for Panopto can be found here: http://www.usciences.edu/academictechnology/lecture-capture.shtml



We anticipate that Blackboard use will increase in order to disseminate course materials for classes. For Blackboard assistance, help is available to faculty and students 24X7 through the Blackboard Help Desk (Embanet). The online support center is available via phone at x7575 and PRESS 4 (1-877-907-5116) or, chat, email, and FAQs, which are located in Blackboard or here: https://embanet.frontlinesvc.com/app/home/p/170


VPN Connections

For staff or faculty who may need to work from home, please be aware that VPN service is limited.

  • Use VPN only if you need access to your network drive or use special applications on your office desktop computer.
  • If you do need to use VPN, please limit the amount of time you are connected to the system so that others may log in.
  • In the event that demand for VPN service should exceed our capacity, sessions may need to be time-limited.


Please note: if you are working with sensitive or confidential information, those files should not be copied or transferred outside of USciences’ network. If you have any questions about data security, please contact the IT helpdesk.


There are no limitations to connect to Blackboard or to your email through https://outlook.usciences.edu.


If you have any questions, please contact the IT helpdesk at 215.596.7575 or email your request to helpdesk@usciences.edu.