Newsletter: 🦺Looking at SEPTA's Priorities / 🎙️Mayoral Mobility Takes / 💳 Expand Low-Income Fares

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 229


With the demise of KOP rail, SEPTA's latest capital budget is showing the agency now shifting priorities, and money, to acquire replacement transit vehicles and address repair backlogs.

The Inquirer's Tom Fitzgerald covered this story:

Trolley modernization will get an additional $100 million from the decision to cancel KOP rail, and $200 million more will be go toward replacing Silverliner IV Regional Rail cars that are nearly 50 years old, said CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards.

We are thrilled to see SEPTA accelerating long-overdue projects -- and serving more riders. Trolley Modernization, MFL car replacement and transforming our Regional Rail system are all huge priorities to improve our region's transit access.

Despite these promising steps, we also see SEPTA burning money on parking projects. The most notable of which is Conshohocken Station -- slated to cost over $48 million for 410 spaces -- making each spot over $100K! This project is an unwarranted subsidy for suburban motorists, better spent on measures to improve actual service and reliability.

We know what truly builds ridership -- dense, walkable neighborhoods in close proximity to frequent, reliable transit. Surrounding your train stations with a sea of parking is expensive and kills walkability.

Want SEPTA to do better? Join us in testifying at the Capital Budget public hearing

Sign up here and our partners at Transit Forward Philly will reach out with talking points and instructions on how to testify!


The Better Mobility Mayoral Forum video is now online to see the candidates specifically discuss safer streets and better transit. Seven candidates participated in an hour of short answer and yes and no questions moderated by Daniel Pearson from the Inquirer.

The Bicycle Coalition also analyzed several mayoral questionnaires, including our own, to see how each candidate stacked up in their commitment to better mobility. Read more on the analysis in their blog post.

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


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.


City Council, at-Large

City Council, Districts


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.

Wednesday Night Rides - April 19th
Start: Art Museum steps Time: meet by 7p, roll at 7:10p End: Fat Lady Brewing, Manayunk Length: 8.2 mi (+348 ft / -351 ft) Level of difficulty: Adventurous (hills!) Route: Lights required

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

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.

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.

Delaware River Trail Extension - Open House
Saturday, April 29, from 2 pm to 4 pm
2443 E. Gordon St., Phila., PA, 19125
A new segment of the Delaware River Trail was recently completed between South Philly and Fishtown and is already heavily used by both residents and visitors. The Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) is now studying an extension of the trail north between Penn Treaty Park and Lehigh Avenue, including a connection to the future Graffiti Pier Park.

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


🏙️ HOUSING & LAND USE / White male homeowners are overrepresented on land-use boards, survey finds

WHYY / Philly mayoral candidates target vacant land for affordable housing / Expansion of affordable housing requirements is proposed for West Philadelphia

The Atlantic / The Dangerous Rise of ‘Front-Yard Politics’

🌳 PUBLIC SPACE / Want to tackle gun violence? Think about trees. / Jeff Brown may not care about Chester, but Philly should. Stop sending your trash here. | Opinion / Where is a Philadelphia teenager supposed to hang out?


Washington Post / Maryland advances plan for MARC train service to Virginia, Delaware

MoreThanTheCurve / SEPTA planning to spend over $48 million on a parking garage at its Conshohocken Station


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!



CompTIA Spark / Vice President, External Relations

Roxborough Development Corporation / Executive Director

East Passyunk Business Improvement District / Executive Director

Riverfront North Partnership


Diamond and Associates / Paid Summer Internship

City of Philadelphia /

Mt. Vernon Manor CDC (MVM) / Safety and Justice Coordinator


Community Capacity Builders / Project Coordinator

PACDC / Corridor Business Consultant

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