Riders Minutes is a summary of SEPTA Board meetings from a transit riders’ perspective.
Meeting opens with attendance and a pledge of allegiance to the flag.
Board chair Pat Deon announces two new board members: Esteban Vera, Jr. (Democratic House Minority Leader Appointee) and Thomas Jay Ellis (Republican Senate Majority Leader Appointee).
Esteban Vera, Jr. is a business manager of Laborer’s Local #57 in Philly; it’s great to see a Philly labor leader on the SEPTA board. Thomas Jay Ellis served on the SEPTA board previously, first as a Montgomery County appointee from 2001 to 2011 when he resigned in the wake of harassment complaints.
Will the SEPTA Board choose construction projects over more transit service?
During the board meeting on Thursday, February 25, the SEPTA Board will vote on a budget resolution to spend $40 million intended for running buses and trains on planning a controversial rail construction project in Montgomery County which is years away from completion.
At SEPTA there are two piles of money: one for operations and one for capital projects. The operating budget pays for things like salaries of bus operators, while the capital budget pays for the buses they drive or the parking lots that SEPTA builds.
On February 4th, we honor and celebrate the life of Rosa Parks. A civil rights leader and one of the countless Americans who fought for equality, she helped blaze a path of transit activism in Montgomery, Alabama that the Philly TRU is proud to follow.
We delivered the following statement to the SEPTA Board during the January 2021 SEPTA Board meeting. We are calling for full transparency on the scope and results of the investigation regarding SEPTA police involvement in the Jan. 6th coup attempt. We are asking SEPTA GM Leslie Richards to present a plan to find and remove white supremacists from the SEPTA police department.
As of January 19, one of the seven officers has been assigned to an administrative position.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 21, 2020
Since September SEPTA riders have been testifying to the SEPTA board about overcrowding on SEPTA buses and asking for a timeline for the return of the Chestnut Hill West Line. SEPTA refuses to acknowledge that some buses are regularly crowded and refuses to give a timeline for a return of the Chestnut Hill West Line.
SEPTA will receive $252 million dollars in federal aid as part of the most recent COVID relief bill.
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.