Comments Submitted to the Transportation and Climate Initiative from Pittsburghers for Public Transit and Philly Transit Riders Union
Dear Governors and Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) Leaders:
Transit rider member organizations have participated in the TCI MOU discussions for several years, and have constituencies that include frontline communities in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh region. We, Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) and the Philly Transit Riders Union (Philly TRU), hope to strengthen the equity language in the MOU, to both ensure that those with the most at stake have a strong voice at the table to determine how the TCI resources are allocated, and to ensure that they will receive a clear and measurable benefit from the cap-and-invest proceeds.
As SEPTA continues to deploy contactless fare payment across the Regional Rail system, we need to ensure everyone has equal access to our public transit system. The statement released on SEPTA’s website provided few details, leaving riders with these questions:
Will cash fares continue to be accepted?
Cash and paper tickets currently account for 23% of railroad fares. If paper tickets are no longer sold, will cash fares continue to be accepted?
On Sunday we’ll be holding our bi-monthly General Meeting at 3pm: If you’re curious about the riders union or looking to get involved, these general meetings are the meeting to attend. We’ll be briefly going over the recent SEPTA fare increase and talking about some smaller items, in addition to planning for a TRU mask distribution project, a transit education initiative, and an upcoming tele-town hall meeting. Here’s the agenda for this meeting and in the beginning of the meeting we’ll welcome anyone to include additional items on the agenda.
SEPTA Management continues allowing the use of SEPTA vehicles to transport police to protests
On May 31 and June 1 SEPTA buses are used to transport police to protests. Transit service is suspended at 6pm on Sunday May 31.
On June 3rd, 2020 the Philly Transit Riders Union called on SEPTA GM Leslie Richards to stop using our public transit vehicles to transport police to protests.
On June 4th, SEPTA GM Leslie Richards and SEPTA Board Chair Pat Deon release a statement that says in part “We cannot be neutral.
Beginning Sunday, June 14th, SEPTA is working on a track renewal project along Lansdowne Avenue between 54th Street and 63rd St in the Hestonville neighborhood of West Philadelphia.
SEPTA has decided to convert all of Subway-Surface Route 10 from trolley to bus until September 5th. Buses will run from 63rd & Malvern in Overbrook to 33rd & Market in University City, where passengers are required to transfer to other trolley service to continue to points in University City and Center City.
With the world facing the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the best in humanity during these difficult and challenging times. Locally, the brave employees at SEPTA have been working hard providing an essential service to help us weather through this crisis.
As our region begins to enter the yellow phase, we’re looking to SEPTA to make sure the riding public is able to get where they need to go, safely, reliably, and affordably.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
In Philly and in cities across the Delaware Valley, we are protesting against a system designed to uphold white supremacy and destroy Black lives. SEPTA should not respond by cancelling buses for essential workers and then instead running them for police.
Here’s some what we’ve heard from SEPTA riders and workers who have been left behind as a result of abrupt service cancellations in the last week.
We can make the case for fair fares but we need your help: call 267-313-6060 state your name and that you support the riders union fare proposal
The “virtual” hearings for the SEPTA fare increase are happening on Tuesday 5/26 and Wednesday 5/27. The fare plan SEPTA has proposed is the same plan they proposed before the pandemic. We’re trying to get SEPTA to pass a fare plan that lowers and simplifies fares for one year in response to the crisis and we need your voice.
We are making it easy for SEPTA riders to be heard in these hearings: Please call the TRU phone at 267-313-6060 and leave your testimony as a message, which we will play in the live hearings– you don’t have to work testifying into your schedule and you can still be heard.
A six month delay of fare increases is a welcome first step, but the recovery from this crisis will likely last a year or more.
On Tuesday May 12th, SEPTA announced their plan to implement some good elements of their fare proposal– one free transfer and $1 child fares– on July 1 and to delay all fare increases until January 2021 if their proposal is passed in June. The riders’ union has opposed all fare increases during the crisis and commends SEPTA’s willingness to formally commit to postponing them.
While a six month delay of fare increases is a welcome first step, the recovery from this crisis will likely last a year or more.
Transit is essential. Pennsylvania needs stable funding for public transit.
Transit is essential. Pennsylvania needs stable funding for public transit. 82 organizations, unions, and elected officials across the state of Pennsylvania called on state legislators to ensure that the PA Turnpike fulfills its $450 million transit funding obligations until 2023, or until a sustainable, dedicated alternative funding source is secured. This coalition of transit riders, labor unions, community development corporations, and community advocates recognize that the viability of our transit system is paramount to both survive the pandemic and to ensure a path forward to recovery.