In 2022, Greyhound notified the Philadelphia Streets Department that it was ending its lease on the bus terminal at Filbert St. Their plan was to transition to strictly curbside pickup, competing with its budget competitors. The Streets Department, after failing to negotiate a new bus terminal option with Greyhound, acquiesced to the change and permitted Greyhound to pick up and park their buses on the 600 block of Market St on June 22nd, 2023.
By allowing this to happen, the Mayor and Streets Department created a "humanitarian disaster," as noted by The Philadelphia Inquirer's Inga Saffron.
Suitcases piled up on the street, no access to bathrooms, and travelers left exposed to the elements. By failing to hold Greyhound accountable to its riders, the city has risked the lives of thousands to heat waves, torrential rain, and Code Red air quality. The impacts are especially harsh on riders who are older or have disabilities.
Additionally, by loading on the freshly-painted red bus & bike lane on a busy stretch of Market Street, this practice worsens the already impacted local bus travel and endangers people traveling by bicycle.
Greyhound and its competitors should not be allowed to trade passenger safety for cost savings. Nor should they be allowed to clog up hard fought for SEPTA infrastructure or overburden bus drivers.
This could have been avoided. Since 2009, plans have existed for a municipal bus terminal outside 30th St Station.
New York, Boston, and Washington DC already have or are building this vital link, but Mayor Kenney and his predecessor chose to ignore the effort entirely.
We implore the mayor to take two steps in service of and for the safety of bus riders:
We charge the Mayor to instruct the Streets Department to deny curbside parking privileges for Greyhound and other intercity buses unless sufficient shelter is provided to every rider: That is shade, bathrooms, seating, air conditioning and heating.
Before the end of this term, we demand that the Mayor initiate the process of planning a bus terminal that requires inter-city bus companies to use. Smaller US cities successfully employ this model, and we cannot let this problem reach a third mayor.
Sign this petition to demand that Mayor Kenney and his Streets Departments take the necessary steps to ensure the health of Philadelphians and the usability of our transit services.
We urge SEPTA, PennDOT, DVRPC, the City of Philadelphia, and elected officials to come together and integrate the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway into corridor transportation plans.
It’s been over a century since Philadelphia first proposed the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway. Northeast Philly has since exploded in population, exceeding 500,000 residents and growing larger than Pittsburgh, Atlanta, or Minneapolis. 1 out of 3 people in Philadelphia live within one mile of the Boulevard.
This area is home to our city’s most diverse neighborhoods and census tracts with the highest poverty rates. 18 percent of the corridor’s residents are born outside the United States, and almost one third speak a language other than English.
Thousands who travel daily by car and bus in Northeast Philly are mired with traffic congestion and delays. Bus riders in particular are forced to sit in mixed car traffic onboard crowded buses lurching to and from stops along Roosevelt Boulevard.
The Boulevard has also earned the nickname “the corridor of death” due to the exorbitant rate of pedestrian and motorist fatalities. Pedestrians, especially seniors, children, and those with disabilities, are forced to cross longer than a football field of moving cars. Black and brown communities and low-income communities are often the most impacted by high-fatality roads such as these. It's time we rethink Roosevelt Boulevard.
The benefits of the Roosevelt Boulevard subway would be massive
The Boulevard Subway would improve the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of Philadelphians by:
- Providing affordable and direct connections to jobs in Center City and Northeast Philly
- Improving equity by closing the gap in transit access across race and income
- Relieving traffic congestion and shorten commute times
- Enhancing pedestrian safety through a safer roadway design with buried lanes of traffic
- Fighting climate change and improving local air quality
- Growing the economic impact of the region through transit-oriented commercial and residential development
- Creating local construction jobs
According to a 2003 study, the subway line would attract 124,500 daily riders and divert 83,300 daily trips from cars to transit. A trip between the Far Northeast and City Hall that’s currently 60 minutes would be cut to 32 minutes.
We cannot let another century pass without action
The Roosevelt Boulevard subway would have a higher ridership than any proposed subway line in the country. We encourage the region to leverage newly increased federal funding sources, especially block grants to move roadway funding to transit, as well as value capture solutions through new transit-oriented development along the Boulevard.
Support the Boulevard Subway today
Tell Council to support transit passes for low-income residents, not giveaways to parking executives
As part of budget negotiations currently underway, City Council is considering whether or not to give away $130 million of our federal stimulus money to parking garage owners by dramatically slashing the parking industry tax.
At a time when Philadelphia is facing unprecedented challenges, the City should not send $130 million to parking lot tycoons and suburban motorists. $130 million is enough to fund a low-income fare program to provide half-price transit for every Philadelphian with an ACCESS card. Instead of giving away money to an industry that pollutes, congests and endangers our city, we should be advancing our region by easing the green mobility of our most vulnerable residents.
Send a message to Council to vote ‘NO’ to this regressive bill (#210442) at their meeting on Tuesday, June 8th.
Join 5th Square in asking City Council to:
- Vote ‘NO’ to cutting the Philadelphia Parking Tax.
- Work with SEPTA to fund and implement a low-income fare program
Cutting taxes for exploitative and destructive industries is not the way to increase well-paying jobs. Under this bill, there is NO BINDING GUARANTEE that worker wages and benefits will improve if the tax is reduced. At the same time, the passage of this bill would decimate SEPTA ridership, fuel traffic congestion, and undermine the City’s goals of combating climate change and decreasing vehicular violence.