Newsletter: 🚌 Support Bus Revolution / 🚗 Philadelphians Ditching Their Cars / 🗳️ Apply for Mail-In Ballot

Weekly Newsletter, Issue 266


Buses are a vital lifeline for getting folks around Philly, with many neighborhoods completely reliant on this service being fast, frequent, and reliable.

Unfortunately, SEPTA is at the precipice of a ridership death spiral, where poor service discourages ridership, which reduces revenue and causes even further service cuts.

This is why we support SEPTA’s Bus Revolution – making buses more useful for more people by redesigning its entire bus network which would result in over a million more people gaining access to frequent bus routes.

Learn more about why we support Bus Revolution and sign our petition in support.


Though it may seem like there are an endless number of cars on Philadelphia's streets, the city is actually seeing a decrease in registered cars as more and more Philadelphians opt for a car-free life.

So what's life actually like for Philadelphians who ditch their cars? The Inquirer investigates the car-free experience and, spoiler alert, there can be a lot of benefits to life without a car.

The Inquirer: These Philadelphians got rid of their cars in the past year. They haven’t looked back.

“My car, it was a complete crutch,” Walker said. “Now that I’m forced to walk, I’m seeing the city more than I did before.”

She feels like she’s “seeing the sun more often” on regular walks to judo class, City Fitness, and social gatherings, she added. For outings farther away that require taking the bus, “it’s more time for me to be zen or read a book on the way there.”

Want to make it easier to live car free in Philadelphia? Become a 5th Square member today for $5 a month to support our advocacy efforts.

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


Planning to vote in the upcoming primary election? You can now request your absentee or mail-in ballot. 

Still need to register to vote? You can register here and then request a mail-in ballot. To vote in the primary, you must register by April 8th, but don't wait until the last minute!


5th Square is supporting the “Philly Phreeze” fundraiser to get the largest public pool system in America open again this summer for Philadelphians. Our donation will help Parks and Rec to retain and hire new lifeguards to keep these lifesaving public spaces open.

5th Square will match your donation here dollar-for-dollar up $2,500!

  • Donations $60 and above will earn 5th Square membership for 12 months, including access to vote on this year's endorsements.

  • The first 10 people who donate over $100 are invited to join us in jumping into a phreezing Kelly Pool on Saturday, February 24th!


💸 Support SEPTA Funding

Governor Shapiro has announced that he plans to direct $282 million in sales tax revenue to SEPTA and other PA transit agencies. This will cover a significant portion of SEPTA's deficit, but we must keep up the fight ensure Governor Shapiro's proposed funding comes through and to find an additional funding source to cover the remaining deficit.

You can help by signing this petition, and reaching out to elected officials.

🛣️ Stop I-95 Expansion

PennDOT is planning to expand I-95 in Center City and South Philly by adding lanes and new ramps. This will threaten the well-being of our neighborhoods by worsening air quality, increasing noise pollution, and harming our access to the waterfront.

Join us in telling PennDOT that highway expansion has no place in the core of Philadelphia by signing our petition.


The Inquirer: SEPTA postpones bus network redesign — again — due to concerns from City Council members

The transit agency launched the comprehensive revision of routes, the first in its 60 years of existence, to try to arrest a decline in bus ridership before the pandemic.

And there has been support for the program.

“This redesign will create about a dozen more high-frequency routes, increasing service reliability and speeds,” said Will Tung, an organizer with the urbanist group 5th Square. “Also, improving service at non-peak travel times and weekends would have the greatest benefit for lower-income workers and those with no car access.”


Northwest Night Rides Puppy Love Ride
February 14, 7pm | Roxborough Ave and Mitchell St
A 6.5-mile ride down the Schuylkill River, through East Fairmount Park and Strawberry Mansion, and into the faraway land of Brewerytown, ending at The Boozy Mutt. Bring a pup along, or just bring yourselves!

Philly Bike Party Luuuuuv Ride
February 17, 8pm | Love Park
Be our Valentine and join us for a love-themed ride! We’ll be starting at Love Park and riding to the different Love statues in the city

2024 Philly Bike Expo
March 16-17th | Convention Center
The Philly Bike Expo is an annual weekend-long event featuring exhibitors, seminars, presentations and events representing the spectrum of cycling.








Councilmember Gauthier's Office / Zoning and Planning Aide

Northern Liberties BID / Marketing and Events Coordinator


Delaware & Lehigh

City of Philadelphia

Riverfront North / Project Director

Philadelphia Parking Authority / PEO Bike Patrol

Parking Reform Network / Policy Director

NV5 / Civil/ Transportation Engineer


Clean Air Council

Amtrak / Sr Financial Analyst

East Coast Greenway Alliance

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia / Better Bike Share Partnership Educator

WHYY / Editor/Director, Billy Penn

New Kensington Community Development Corporation

East Coast Greenway Alliance / New Jersey and New York Greenway Manager

South Asian American Digital Archive


Young Involved Philadelphia Board Prep Program

YIP’s Board Prep Program is a leadership development program designed to prepare young professionals for non-profit board service.

This comprehensive program is facilitated by Philadelphia-based experts well versed in non-profit board governance. During this intensive training program, we will introduce the key components of thoughtful, engaged, and dedicated board service. We will also provide an opportunity for participants to connect with Greater Philadelphia area non-profit organizations seeking board members, committee members, and volunteers.

Young professionals seeking to learn more about non-profit board governance, join a non-profit board, or already serve on a non-profit board are welcome to participate. Graduates of YIP’s Board Prep Program will join a vibrant, diverse, and deeply engaged community of alums working hard to make Philadelphia the best city.

Philadelphia City Planning Commission Working Group

PCPC is currently preparing an update to the comprehensive plan called Our Philadelphia.

Our Philadelphia promotes more equitable investment across all neighborhoods. PCPC seeks graduates of the Citizens Planning Institute and members of the Our Philadelphia Steering Committee to join a Working Group that will prepare for future engagement efforts. The Working Group will provide a space for residents and staff to collaborate on how best to conduct educational processes within priority communities. This will lay the foundation for residents to fully engage in the update of the comprehensive plan. Working Group participants will receive a stipend of $1,200.

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

We're an all-volunteer grassroots organization advocating for safe and affordable transportation, abundant housing, and more and better public spaces. You’re receiving this email if you signed up via our website, attended one of our events, or supported one of our advocacy campaigns. 

Support our advocacy with a recurring monthly contribution of $5 or more.