Newsletter: Good news, bad news for 🚌... or take a train to the 🏖!

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 188


With ridership still down since the start of the pandemic, public transit agencies around the country will be grappling with a fiscal cliff for operation. SEPTA will be able to support operations with CARES Act funding until 2024, but without service increases and with ongoing bus driver shortages, it may not be enough.


There are a couple of bright spots on the horizon. One was a grant for two new bus terminals in South Philly (at Pier 70 and at 3rd and Oregon), utilizing money from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Some of the money from IIJA earmarked for highways can be applied to other projects, through programs like the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program, or even simply reallocated in other cases. If you're wondering what Pennsylvania is doing funding-wise, PennDOT released a draft of their Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP). Public comment is now open, so you can check out individual projects and send feedback.

Transit Forward Philadelphia is hosting a panel this Thursday with Dwight Evans, Christine Knapp (City Office of Sustainability), Jody Holton and Brian McFadden (SEPTA), to discuss possibilities for IIJA funding. If you're interested, RSVP today!


Join us on July 9th at 8:05am for a family-friendly day down the shore this summer with your favorite group of Urbanist advocates. We're headed to Atlantic City and have a fun day planned of hoagie-eating, jitney-riding, beach-laying, and of course, margarita-drinking. Let's meet at 30th Street Station and, of course, take a ride aboard the Atlantic City Rail Line.

Atlantic City postcard
Tickets are $60 for Adults 12+, $30 for Children 5-11, Kids 4 and under are Free.
  • Train & Jitney Fare
  • Hoagie from White House Subs
  • Food & 1 Drink or Appetizer from Landshark Bar & Grill


Names have been swirling around for next year's mayor's race. So far it is mostly councilpeople like Allen Domb, Cherelle Parker, and Derek Green (among others). ShopRite's Jeff Brown has talked about running since the beginning of the year, and City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart has floated the idea as well.

Of the rumored candidates, there is no clear picture of a candidate who champions public transit and relaxed zoning laws. But with your help, we may be able to create some interest and get better candidates that want to make the city the best version of itself.

Support our ongoing efforts for a more sustainable, walkable, and bicycle-friendly Philadelphia! All contributions go to supporting elected officials and campaigns that shape the city.

Become a 5th Square member TODAY & help us decide who to endorse in the next election!

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Wednesday Night Ride: "South Philly Slingshot"

June 29 at 7pm
Wharton Square (2300 Wharton St)

Meet at Wharton Square. Ride leaves at 7:10pm. Route is 8 mi, about 1 hour, around South Philly, and ends at Yards Brewing (500 Spring Garden St).

Toward A More Sustainable SEPTA: Opportunities from Federal Infrastructure Funding

June 30 at 8:00am - 9:30am
Pipeline Philly, 30 S 15th St

On Thursday, June 30th, join SEPTA leaders, Philadelphia elected officials, and transportation advocates for a breakfast panel discussion about the opportunities for sustainable infrastructure investments in the new federal infrastructure bill, and how SEPTA plans to take advantage of these.

Demystifying "Affordable" Housing

July 13 at 12:00pm – 1:00pm (Virtual)

Join Troy Hannigan, Director of Development at Community Ventures, and Tya Winn, Executive Director of the Community Design Collaborative alongside Habitat for Humanity’s Young Professionals group for a virtual conversation that demystifies “affordable” housing. This conversation will be moderated by Director of Policy at City of Philadelphia Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity Beth McConnell.


  • Vision Zero | Cecil B. Moore - DVRPC is conducting a survey about possible street safety implementations on Cecil B. Moore Ave from Willington Street to 10th Street.
  • Petition for Traffic Calming on Lincoln Drive - The Northwest Traffic Calming Campaign (NWTCC) aims is to make Mt Airy safer for residents to walk, drive, use mobility devices, and cycle in our neighborhood. The NWTCC aims to have traffic calming measures placed throughout Mt Airy.

  • Reimagine the Parkway - Survey 1 This public survey is part of the first round of engagement to help refine the vision and goals for the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Public Realm Plan and gather the priorities for uses of the Parkway from a diverse audience. As you take the survey, please think about the "Parkway" within the planning area focus.
  • Permanent public restroom survey - The City of Philadelphia has funding to pilot one permanent public restroom in Center City, and will be using this survey to gauge interest in more public restrooms and amenities. Note: the gender demographics questions are awkward, but you can use the "other" category instead.

  • School District of Phila - Early Dismissal Survey - Next year’s Academic Calendar includes days where students are dismissed early. The District is seeking feedback from families on their plans and needs for after-school childcare on early dismissal days.

  • PennDOT is conducting a survey for the I-95 Girard Interchange. This covers Allegheny Avenue south through the Interstate 676 Interchange at Race Street.



Philadelphia Inquirer / By turning Fairmount Water Works into a party space, Philly exemplifies the worst of park privatization


  • Join the New Leaders Council PHL board! NLC trains and connects the local changemakers who champion equity and fuel progress. We invest in those historically excluded from leadership pipelines, yet are best equipped to solve our nation’s most challenging issues.
  • Applications for the Committee of Seventy’s 2022-2023 Buchholz Fellows program are now open! The Buchholz Fellows are emerging young leaders (recommended age is 25-35) working in the private or nonprofit sector. Fellows will have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in nonprofit leadership by serving as one of our board members. Fellows are matched with a current board member who will serve as a mentor and advisor during the fellowship year.

  • Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency / Kathy A. Possinger Housing Policy Fellowship
    The goal of this program is to support the development of new perspectives and approaches to significant unmet housing or community development needs across Pennsylvania through a self-directed research project. Completed applications must be submitted via email to [email protected] no later than 5PM EST, July 1, 2022.
  • Rutgers University's Center for Urban Research and Education is looking for proposals for papers that address regional patterns of segregation and evaluating their impact on neighborhood disparities across metropolitan areas, including policies related to single-family zoning, ADUs, land banking, etc. Full text for this proposal is on Twitter. Please submit one-page abstracts in PDF form to [email protected]. Abstracts are due by midnight on Friday, July 1st. For further information, please contact [email protected].


Women's Community Revitalization Project (WCRP) / Organizing Director

Transit Forward Philadelphia / Coalition Manager

Robert Schalkenbach Foundation / Assistant Director

Enterprise / Program Associate, Incubation, Cultivation and Acceleration

Jarrett Walker + Associates / Senior Public Transit Planner and Project Manager

Monument Lab /

Habitat for Humanity /

SEPTA / Manager, Planning Programs (7074) - Trolley Modernization

City of Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Council / Director of Communications for Councilmember Gautier

Civic Eagle / Various (Programmers, finance, HR)

LANTA / Procurement Coordinator

Smart Growth America / Thriving Communities program associate

The Nature Conservancy / Urban Climate Resilience Manager (#51548)

Friends of the Wissahickon / Field Coordinator

Spak Group / Leasing and Marketing Manager

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation / Program Officer, Policy

Reinvestment Fund / Community Development Loan Officer/Director, MidAtlantic

Princeton University / Program Coordinator, Eviction Lab

The University of Pennsylvania / Associate Director, Civic House

Transportation For America / Policy Associate

City of Pittsburgh

Amtrak / Real Estate Specialist


5th Square is Philadelphia's urbanist political action committee.

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