UPDATE 12/6/23: Intercity Bus Terminal Relocation Remains Incomplete

The below press release was co-written with coalition members at 5th Square and Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. This update was sent to Transit Forward Philadelphia (TFP) supporters via our newsletter. Want to sign up and receive these updates? Get involved!

While we recognize the temporary relocation of Philadelphia’s intercity bus terminal as forward progress in addressing some of our concerns, the City and bus carriers still have a long way to go in serving both riders and city residents.

Color image of the current intercity bus \

UPDATE 12/6/23: 5th Square and Disabled In Action partnered with Transit Forward Philadelphia, Liberty Resources, Philly Transit Riders Union to produce a full disability audit of the new intercity bus terminal. The audit outlines nearly 30 unique accessibility issues with the Spring Garden site, and offers six immediate, necessary remedies:

  1. ADA accessible bathrooms
  2. Staff to assist in boarding and disembarking
  3. Braille Signage Accompanying Maps and Bus Stops
  4. ADA Push Buttons to Enter or Exit the Waiting Room
  5. Increased Security Presence, as indicated in OTIS plans
  6. PA System and Visual Display Indicating Departure Times and Statuses of Buses
  7. Bus Shelters and Seating at the Outdoor Boarding Zones

View the full audit here.

ORIGINAL BLOG: As outlined in our petition signed by over 500 people, it was urgently necessary to remove the bus loading zone from the 6th and Market Streets, as it worsened local bus travel and endangered people traveling by bicycle.

"Intercity buses are unusual in their lack of oversight, while being the sole or most affordable means of connection for numerous rural communities throughout the country," shared Transit Forward Philadelphia Coalition Manager, Connor Descheemaker. "While cities as diverse as Milwaukee, DC, and New York offer publicly-owned structures for these visitors, Philadelphia needs to act decisively to keep our city accessible and connected."

While the City has stated this relocation to Spring Garden Street and Christopher Columbus Boulevard is temporary, we are not satisfied with this new location for the following reasons:

  1. The site is not sheltered or heated, nor is there access to indoor bathroom facilities. While portable restrooms are promised, it remains unclear how many, who will clean them, and whether they will be accessible.

  2. Bus loading will impede the bicycle lanes on Spring Garden Street, a vital connector to the riverfront trail. 

  3. The closest rail access is the Spring Garden Station of the Market-Frankford Line, which lacks elevators and is not wheelchair accessible.


“The City must take steps to ensure this location will not jeopardize the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists. This can be done by dedicating an eastbound vehicle lane on Spring Garden Street for bicycle travel or creating temporary protected bike lanes on Callowhill St.” says Nicole Brunet, Policy Director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.

5th Square Organizer, Micah Fiedler says, “While we understand that a permanent location is being worked on, we will pressure City officials and bus carriers until we have a solution that upholds the dignity of riders. Every day of delay is another day hundreds of riders are forced to wait in the cold.”

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. 5th Square volunteers can be reached at [email protected]

Transit Forward Philadelphia is a coalition of organizations in southeastern Pennsylvania advocating for accessible, reliable, and sustainable public transportation. Our membership includes elder and disability-rights advocates, immigrant and refugee support groups, neighborhood associations and CDCs, environmental NGOs, and grassroots organizers, amplifying the diverse voices of transit riders. Transit Forward Philadelphia can be reached at [email protected]

The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, a member driving organization, leads the movement to make every ride safe, to empower youth and adults to ride, and to foster a ridership that reflects the diversity of the region.