Newsletter: 🏆 SEPTA Fare Wins! / ✅ Our Endorsements Matter / 💳Expand Low-Income Fares

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 228


Advocacy works! SEPTA proposed two important fare changes in their recent operating budget that moves towards our long-standing fare asks to increase ridership and make the system more user-friendly.

  • A Second Free Transfer
  • Zone 1 + PHL Airport Regional Rail access for TransPass users

These changes would not have been possible without your advocacy over these past six years!

Tyger Williams / Inquirer Staff Photographer

We want SEPTA to move further to fully-integrate our Regional Rail system with its transit service by accepting transfers between the modes, lowering all travel in Philadelphia to the base transit fare, and unlimited transfers within 2 hours.

Want to help us advocate for these changes at the SEPTA Operating Budget Public Hearings? Sign up here to testify through Transit Forward Philly!

You can help us make a walkable, transit-friendly city for everyone with your financial contributions. Become a 5th Square member today!

Annual Subscriber, $60 per yearMonthly Subscriber, $5 per monthOne Year of Membership, Starting at $60


Talking about transit budget -- We are thrilled the mayor's budget proposal includes an additional $40 million to SEPTA for a low-income fare program and transit passes for all City employees.

We want Philadelphia to go further!

Sign our petition today urging City Council to approve the proposed zero-fare pilot for low-income Philadelphians and to expand its eligibility in the 2024 City Budget.

SEPTA is essential for many Philadelphians, and fares should not prevent people from accessing jobs, school, healthcare, and other services.


The Inquirer noted our council endorsements that cut across the noise between progressive and pro-development ideological camps.

And the special interest groups seeking to influence the election are not monoliths, either. For example, 5th Square, an urbanist political action committee, endorsed Santamoor and Itzkowitz alongside Landau, noting that their platforms aligned around road safety policy and transit access.

These candidates will best represent our mission to make Philadelphia a more affordable, accessible, equitable, sustainable, and transit-friendly city for everyone.

City Council, at-Large

City Council, Districts

This is the power of political advocacy, and we urge folks who want a more sustainable built environment to donate, volunteer, and most importantly, vote for these candidates in May's primary.


PennDOT - 2023 Public Comment Period for the 12-Year Program (TYP) Update
Join us next week on Wednesday, April 12, for our Online Public Forum as part of the 2023 Public Comment Period for the update of the 12-Year Program. The Forum will include a presentation from PennDOT leadership and members of the State Transportation Commission, as well as a live Q&A session. Register for the Forum today and submit your transportation questions! Attend the Forum!
Wednesday, April 12, from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

NW Night Rides - Wednesday 4/12
Little Free Libraries Tour! Meet at 7pm by Rose's Water Ice (Roxborough Ave and Pechin St). We'll be touring the Little Free Libraries of East and West Mount Airy. We'll stop at Mount Airy Taproom for refreshments and finish the tour on our way back.

DAG will be joined by a panel including John Chin, Paul Levy, and Chris Puchalsky to discuss DOT's Planning Grant for Vine Street Corridor
1218 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Thu, Apr 13, 2023 at 6:00 PM

WMAN Traffic Calming meeting
8th District Council Candidate Night - April 18th at 7pm
Councilmember Cindy Bass and Seth Anderson-Oberman will discuss their vision for traffic calming and pedestrian safety for the 8th District. RSVP for Zoom Link.

Ride the Mainline Greenway! / Bicycle Coalition
Eastern Portion | Sat, April 15, 2023 | 10am to 12pm | RSVP for the Ride
Western Portion | Sat, April 23, 2023 | 10am to 12pm | RSVP for the Ride

Wissahickon Transportation Center Project Informational Webinar
SEPTA is hosting an informational webinar on Thursday, April 27 from 6:00pm to 7:00pm via Webex to provide an update on the upcoming construction for the Wissahickon Transportation Center Project.

I-95 Girard Avenue Interchange Public Meetings
PennDOT District 6-0 is hosting two upcoming meetings about the next phases of the
I-95 Girard Avenue Interchange project, Sections GR5 and GR6, which include the I-95 mainline and ramps from Race Street to Frankford Avenue.
Meeting #1 - April 24th, 2023. 6 - 8 p.m., Cescaphe Ballroom. 923 N. 2nd St.
Meeting #2 - April 25th, 2023. 6 - 8 p.m., Cherry Street Pier. 121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd.

Brett H. Mandel | Philadelphia, Corrupt and Consenting
A consultant and writer in the fields of civic activism and government reform, Brett H. Mandel served as director of Philadelphia’s Financial & Policy Analysis Unit in the city controller’s office. Told through the story of the corruption case of John Dougherty and the machine politics that foster corruption, his new book illustrates the ways our inattention gives way to corrosive politicians and policies, the effects this blight has on the soul of Philadelphia, and how collective action can lead to a better city for all.
Thu, May 11, 2023 7:30 p.m. / Parkway Central Library



Philadelphia Business Journal / Ardmore looks to balance future development as master plan plays out] / Councilmember Cherelle Parker held a tight rein on development. What would she do as mayor? / Housing at the library? It may be coming to your Boston neighborhood.

Niskanen Center / Manufactured housing: the Ugly Duckling of affordable housing

WHYY / New rental housing coalition forms in Delaware County

Slate Magazine / The Democratic Senator Who Says Liberals Have Lost Their Way on Housing


The New York Times / Your Weekend Plans? Philadelphia. / Center City is ‘remarkably safe’: New report shows that crime downtown and in other major cities isn’t on the rise / Philadelphia’s Calder Gardens Will Show the Sculptor’s Art Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

Gothamist / How Bryant Park's iconic chairs revolutionized public spaces / Everyone in Philly knows illegal dumping is a problem. But for many Black, brown, and low-income residents, it’s a crisis.

🚌 TRANSIT / Cancellation of KOP rail left $340M extra in SEPTA’s capital budget. Here’s how it will be spent. / SEPTA is running out of federal pandemic relief and expects this to be its ‘last budget without service cuts and fare increases’

Hidden City / Op-Ed: It’s Time to Rethink SEPTA Options for Contemporary Commuter Connectivity

Pocono Record / Scranton-NYC Amtrak: PennDOT sends application to Federal Railroad Administration

NBC10 Philadelphia / SEPTA to Make 3 Stations With Only Stairs Fully Accessible

WITF / Plan for Reading-Philadelphia passenger train route could get federal money | WITF


PA Transportation Survey - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is currently working on a plan to improve transportation across the state. We encourage you to submit comments that support safer bicycling and walking along with better transit service. The deadline for submitting comments is April 30, 2023

Code for Philly - One of the projects kicked off at the Launchpad event is trying to analyze opportunities to help the public better connect with Philly’s public libraries. Please take 2-3 minutes to fill out this survey and help share it out widely to diverse communities

Chinatown Stitch Survey - The Vine Street Expressway has long divided Chinatown. The City of Philadelphia wants to know what you think about building a cap on top of the Vine Street Expressway. Take the survey in English, Chinese, or Spanish



Apply to Safe Routes Philly VISTA - Deadline extended to Thursday, April 20!
Adult job-seekers: Do you want to fight injustice and poverty, and encourage active transportation? Apply to be an AmeriCorps Safe Routes Philly - Serve Philadelphia VISTA!

Two Kensington community development nonprofits, NKCDC and Impact Services, are issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a single consultant or team to help design and deliver a training on facilitation and public speaking skills, with a focus on delivering trauma-informed content, and develop a lesson plan for recreating such a training in the future. The deadline to receive proposals is April 14, 2023. Questions can be directed no later than April 10 by email to [email protected].

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

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