1/5/24: 2023 In Philly Transit

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What has Transit Forward Philadelphia been up to in the past year? A lot!

Color image of a mixed-race and mixed-gender group standing with a person in a power wheelchair, with the Mayor in a blue-grey suit at center

2023 offered a year of change. After joining in late 2022, Connor Descheemaker (me!) became the sole full-time staffer of the coalition in the Spring. The time since has been filled with budget hearings, rallies, sharing information, and pushing elected officials, bureaucrats, and SEPTA to make transit the accessible, reliable, and sustainable public service we deserve.

In 2023 Transit Forward Philadelphia:

  • Spread the word and advocated on SEPTA's first-ever bus network redesign, known as Bus Revolution
  • Won Philadelphia's first low-income fare program
  • Stood alongside POWER Interfaith and A Smart Collaboration in demanding a fossil-free future for SEPTA in Nicetown-Tioga
  • Won new money for Trolley Modernization and transit accessibility
  • Won camera-assisted bus lane/bus stop enforcement alongside Liberty Resources to increase bus accessibility and reliability
  • Launched a statewide campaign to fund PA transit
    • Brought 10 advocates to Harrisburg in support of local enabling legislation
    • Testified at House Transportation Committee to solve the transit funding crises, statewide
  • Stopped a single-use parking garage at a dense SEPTA regional rail site
  • Won a second free transfer for all Key and contactless pay riders
  • Pushed adoption of SEPTA Key Advantage, including winning the enrollment of all City of Philadelphia employees in the program
  • Won integration of Zone 1 Regional Rail travel with ALL Transpasses - a key step on the way to Reimagining Regional Rail


A crowd of 20+ wearing various outfits and of various ethnicities, genders, and abilities with their fists raised, holding yellow and black signs reading "Transit for All PA." They are standing on the steps of the Pennsylvania state capitol

In 2024 Transit Forward Philadelphia will push to:


In 2024, we will push new Mayor Cherelle Parker and SEPTA to focus first on service improvements. We must solve the operating budget crisis, attract and retain operators, communicate Bus Revolution's changes effectively, and make transit safe and clean. These foundational fixes will set the stage for continuous tweaks and adds to service to make SEPTA reliable and desirable.

Selfie of a group of four smiling, in motion on a painted asphalt walkway. From left a fair-skinned woman in glasses and ponytail, a Black woman in a powerchair with hair in a ponytail, a White person with long hair in a brown sportcoat, and a Black person black windbreaker with their hair in a bandana

Transit Forward Philadelphia is 31 members and counting. In the past year our coalition has been reenergized, and those members have showed up to city council meetings and hearings, Bus Revolution open houses, the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee, at meetings with state legislators, and on the steps of the state capitol in Harrisburg to demand safe, reliable, and accessible public transportation in southeastern Pennsylvania and across the commonwealth.

We want you! Join us in the year ahead and help us win the public transportation system we deserve.