Philly Green Party

Archive for the ‘Transit Working Group’

First Quarter 2009 Transit Ridership Exceeds Expectations06.18.09

Nationally, nearly 2.6 billion trips were taken on public transportation in the first quarter of 2009, according to a report released today by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA).  Even with significant declines in gasoline prices, higher unemployment, a general economic downturn, and lower state and local revenue, public transportation use in the first quarter is essentially flat – almost matching last year’s modern record first quarter ridership -declining by only 1.2 percent.  This 1.2 percent decline is less than the decline of vehicle miles traveled on our nation’s roads, which declined by 1.7 percent (representing 11.6 billion vehicle miles), according to the U.S. Department of Transportation during the same period.

http://www.apta.com/media/releases/090615_ridership.cfm

Posted in Active GPOP Items, Local and Regional News, News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Invest in Pa.’s transit future12.03.08

Invest in Pa.’s transit future

Vukan R. Vuchic

and Bryan R. Lentz
http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20081203_Invest_in_Pa__s_transit_future.html

Posted in Active GPOP Items, Local and Regional News, News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Environmentalists, unions call for green-jobs plan09.11.08

Environmentalists, unions call for green-jobs plan
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
By Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08253/910629-100.stm

Posted in News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Infrastructure goes unloved at U.S. conventions09.04.08

Reuters, Wed, Sept. 3, 2008

http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSN0329170220080903

Posted in Local and Regional News, News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Green Party Hails SEPTA Expansion08.28.08

Green Party Hails SEPTA Expansion

The group helped lay the groundwork over 4 years ago

PHILADELPHIA – The Green Party of Philadelphia hailed SEPTA’s recent announcement of expanded bus and rail service.  (http://www.timesherald.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=20089291&BRD=1672&PAG=461&dept_id=33380&rfi=6)  “This is a great day for Philadelphians,” said Hillary Aisenstein, of the Green Party’s Transportation Working Group (http://www.gpop.org/transit).  “More buses and trains will mean more mobility for greater numbers of city residents, workers, and students.  And just as importantly, it will also mean fewer cars on the road,” said Aisenstein, who is also the group’s treasurer.

SEPTA plans to expand service on 65 specific routes this fall.  The agency is able to accomplish this because of Act 44, a new law which provides significant and long-term increases in state funding to the agency.

“Local activists, including many Green Party members, worked hard to get Act 44 passed,” said Belinda Davis, another member of the Transit Working Group.  “Since early 2004, Greens spearheaded the push for increased, dedicated, and predictable funding for public transit,” she explained.  Since that time the Green Party has gone on to produce a comprehensive overview of the region’s transportation situation, Getting Around Philadelphia.


One of the first events the group organized was a June 2004 rally at the state office building, at Broad and Spring Garden Streets, to call attention to the issue.  Speakers included Green Party City Council candidate Tom Hutt, the then-head of AFSCME DC 47 Tom Cronin, Consumer Affairs head and former Green Party member Lance Haver, Democratic City Council candidate Marc Stier, yet-to-be named Green Party City Council candidate and PFT member Marlene Santoyo, and PenTrans Director and Green Party TWG member Peter Javsicas.


“It was a great showing for our first event,” recalled Aisenstein.  “We brought SEPTA and the transit unions together, along with environmental groups and other advocates to make the case for more state funding for public transportation.  From that event, the Philadelphia Transit Coalition [PTC] was born.”


Over time, the group gained traction, and with the addition of union leadership, particularly from Cronin’s DC 47 and Pat Eiding of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, the PTC gave birth to the Pennsylvania Transit Coalition.  The statewide group held several rallies and events both in Philadelphia and in Harrisburg, negotiated with Gov. Rendell, and after three years, finally helped pass Act 44.


“The Green Party was one of many, many organizations working to support transportation,” said Aisenstein.  “But we were the first group at the table, long before the issue started getting headlines.  We are proud of the work we did and are very happy that it will yield real results for Philadelphians this fall.”


MORE INFORMATION AT:

Green Party of Philadelphia’s Transportation Working Group: http://www.gpop.org/transit

GPOP flyer, “With Gas Prices Going Through the Roof…”

GPOP Report: Getting Around Philadelphia

Posted in News, Press Releases, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

New Article: The American Car Culture is Running Out of Gas07.16.08

New Article: The American Car Culture is Running Out of Gas
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, May1 8, 2008

http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20080518_The_American_car_culture_is_running_out_of_gas.html

Posted in News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Rally for Public Transit this Thursday!05.07.07

The Transit Crisis Continues and
Your Help Is Needed to End it

After a holiday weekend, the morning trip back to work is always hard.

Now imagine your trip costing substantially more than it costs today for we are facing an 11% increase in SEPTA fares in July and a total increase of 30% by September.

  • The cash fare will go up from $2.00 to $2.50, an increase of 25%
  • Transfers will be eliminated so a token and transfer will go up from $1.90 to $2.80, an increase of 47%
  • A weekly transpass wil go up from $18.75 to $25.00, an increase of 33%
  • A monthly transpass will go up from $70 to $105, an increase of 57%
  • Zones 1 and 2 on the regional rail will be merged. A monthly combined zone 1 / 2 regional rail pass will go up from $70 (zone 1) or $106 (zone 2) to $143.50, an increase of 105 and 35 respectively.

And, whether you find SEPTA’s service adequate or not now, imagine what your commute will look like if SEPTA reduces service by 20%

  • If you take the bus, you will wait longer, as many SEPTA buses that now run every thirty minutes will now run every sixty (route 27) or seventy minutes (route 22). And, less frequent buses will more crowded buses. Come September, you will find yourself standing many mornings and evenings.
  • If you take a train, you will also find fewer, more crowded trains.
  • And if you drive, you will find the find the roads more crowded. Faced with a 30% fare increase, many more people will decide to drive to work instead of taking a bus or train. So the road will be crowded
  • And if you take public transit on Saturdays and Sundays, you might just give it up, as Saturday service will follow the current Sunday schedule and Sunday service will be heavily reduced or eliminate.

That is what we are facing in September if SEPTA, and the 38 other transit agencies in the Commonwealth, don’t get new, adequate, dedicated funding. And it won’t just be commuters who suffer. SEPTA is the school bus for most of the High School and College students in the city. It is the way most senior citizens and disabled folks get around the city.

And SEPTA is critical to the economy of the Greater Philadelphia Region and the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

You Can Help US Fight Back

Citizens from around the state are demanding that Governor Rendell and the General Assembly finally provide transit systems with the funding they need, not just to survive in their current state but to expand and grow.

Here is what you can do In the Philadelphia Region this week:

  • Rally for Transit, Thursday, May 31, 12:00 Noon, Dilworth Plaza (West side of City Hall)

  • Call or Email your legislators now. (A list of legislators with their phone numbers and email addresses can be found on our website.)

  • Sign the Petition: No Legislative Transit Without Public Transit. We Demand that legislators give up their free transit until they solve our transit problem. You can sign online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/ptc1/

Posted in Local and Regional News, News, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Response to Proposal to Privatize PA Turnpike03.20.07

Proposal for State Lease of the Pennsylvania Turnpike

A response
Transportation Working Group (TWG)1

Green Party of Philadelphia
March 12, 2007
Governor Edward Rendell has proposed leasing the Pennsylvania Turnpike to provide a source of funding for transportation systems in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is thus actively throwing his support to one of a number of recommendations presented by the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission in November 2006.2 Such “public-private partnerships” (P3s) are already under way elsewhere in the nation, such as in Texas, Indiana and Illinois and are under consideration in New Jersey. The purpose of such asset leasing is to offset the need to generate funds through more traditional but politically unpopular means such as raising taxes and fees. Both domestic and foreign investors are participating in the bidding process, including the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission itself.
The PA turnpike is a significant source of revenue for the state ($571.5 million in FY 2005). Across its length of 530.5 miles, it was used by 188 million vehicles in 2006. The system also employs 2,240 people.3
At first glance, there seems to be nothing inherently wrong with leasing the turnpike, provided that the
* price is sufficiently high

* lease period is not too long

* contract is meticulously crafted to protect the public interest

* regulatory bureaucracy required to monitor the private owners is not too onerous or costly

* private owners do not default and the state is prepared to bail them out if they do

* state is prepared to bail out the private owners if they do default

* unions are induced to accept loss of control

* use of proceeds is restricted to public transportation operations and infrastructure
Clearly, this is a tall order.  It is precisely the difficulty of achieving each of these prerequisites that the TWG does not support leasing the PA turnpike to private investors.4 Were the Commonwealth to relinquish its control,5 compliance with safety, security and environmental regulations, as well as protection of neighboring property and “competing” roadway interests, may well be compromised in the hands of a private investor. By the same token, if the governor’s primary motivation is to get top dollar, the lease terms he negotiates may not give sufficient recognition to important environmental and other issues that will reduce the final price. At a time when the public is increasingly aware of the need for sound environmental legislation and rail alternatives to car and truck traffic, a private company will strive to increase, rather than reduce, road traffic to maximize its profits.6 Semi-privatization would thus only serve to further buttress current societal norms that favor private automobiles as a superior expression of individual freedom and economic success. Government subsidies that provide excessive support to automobile travel reflect these values. In contrast, TWG has always held the view that the primary goal of a sound transportation policy must be to support and secure adequate funding for public transit.  (For more details see our 2006 Survey “Getting Around Philadelphia.”)
The turnpike P3 should also be rejected for reasons of accountability. It represents an “outsourcing of political will”7 where sound decisions of elected officials are required to support sustainable transportation priorities. Moreover, a monetary “windfall” will undercut a public debate about the need to set these priorities, thus further eroding public trust in the government’s ability to represent the people’s best interests.
The term “public-private partnership” is itself very misleading. “Public” actually refers to “government”, as the public has no ability to enter into a contract of any form except through the government (assuming that the government, in a democracy, is an instrument of public will). “Private” means corporate enterprises. Ideally, government exists to promote and secure the general public welfare, in particular to manage the commons in the interest of current and future generations. Corporations, on the other hand, exist for the sole purpose of accumulating profit for their owners. There should be tension between the two, but in our government, corporations have been awarded the status of citizenship, so they are part of the public, and have a disproportionate role in both choosing government and shaping the “public” interest as expressed in government policy. In general, the government practice in this country is and has been to pick only the profitable firms, and to obtain “public” subsidies in order to create the infrastructure and provide ancillary services that protect their profitability.
The history of transportation shows this kind of behavior with eminent clarity. Railroads received huge gifts of land from the federal government in the 19th century in exchange for minimal obligations as “common carriers.” When urban transit became unprofitable as the result of a P3 that promoted the automobile, the remaining necessary transit became a public responsibility. While we may regard roads as a commons and their maintenance as a public responsibility, the massive expansion in number and size of roads to support the profitability of the automotive industrial complex can only be regarded as a huge subsidy in this ongoing “public-private partnership”.
The attitude of corporate power toward government is continually opportunistic. Inducing government to render overpayments on contracts for goods and services – “cost overruns” – is a common practice. Chiseling every sort of regulation to ensure that corporate goods and services provide their intended and advertised values safely, is also common, from pure food to “safe” cars.
Semi-privatization of the turnpike cannot be expected to break this mold. The ultimate weapon in the corporate arsenal is bankruptcy, which dumps the asset in a debilitated state back into the public’s lap. The P3s of health care and defense industry both illustrate what happens when the public surrenders direct control over the provision of needed social goods. Medicare and Medicaid have allowed the cancerous growth of for-profit medical bureaucracies and insurance companies. Hospitals siphon billions of tax dollars to their bottom lines while health care in this country and standards of public health deteriorate. The military industrial complex is a P3 that self-perpetuates itself in the production of armaments.
The impetus given to this partnership by our elected officials is made possible by decades of glorifying the corporate model – the financial marketplace – as the arbiter of value, and by degrading the commons and hence the role of the public and its government in ensuring the public welfare. This is the mentality that makes “new taxes” distasteful to so many citizens. It represents a complete capitulation to the current system of corporate values.
Corporations are going to be with us for a long time. Government will keep dealing with them, to purchase goods and services and, we hope, to regulate them in the public interest. Corporations will build the transit vehicles, and will be contracted to build the rights of way, the stations and, yes, some of the construction and maintenance projects of highways.
The effort to properly fund transit and reduce the subsidy for the automobile is only possible by means of a campaign in the public sphere, one that generates attention to the respective values inherent in automobiles and transit that negatively or positively affect our quality of life. Regardless of the strategy used to carry this out, corporations will take care of their own interests, without our help. We should not allow them to lease and take control of the PA turnpike and thus provide them with even more encouragement for doing so.
* * *

1 The Transit Working Group has addressed transportation issues in recent publications – a brochure “With Gas Prices Going Through the Roof …” (2006) and Getting Around Philadelphia (2006) – and in responses to current transportation debates in Philadelphia.

2 Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission Report (November 13, 2006), pp. 97-98.

3 All PA Turnpike figures are based on its website at www.paturnpike.com.

4 Often-heard (past and current) charges of corruption, patronage, reckless spending and nepotism on the part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the agency by which it is currently managed, notwithstanding.

5 The state would still have to exercise control in many areas, such as in monitoring contractual performance guarantees, adherence to maintenance standards, determining frequency and types of advertising venues, etc.

6 They would thus be likely to resist, and lessen the chances of, positive initiatives such as prioritizing high-occupancy vehicles and carpools.

7An expression cited by John H. Foote of Harvard University in his testimony “Understanding Contemporary Public Private Highway Transactions—The Future of Infrastructure Finance” to the Highways, Transit and Pipelines Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, May 24, 2006.

Posted in Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Green Party Response to Transportation Funding and Reform Commission Report01.24.07

Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission Report:

A response

Transportation Working Group (TWG)

Green Party of Philadelphia

January 19, 2007

On February 28, 2005, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell signed an executive order to form a nine-member commission to study and propose recommendations for funding and reforming the state’s transportation system, including roads, bridges and public transit. The Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission presented its final report on November 13, 2006.

The work of the commission presented an opportunity to address many long-standing and serious deficiencies in the transportation sector. The work was bi-partisan and public input was actively solicited throughout. To its credit, the commission clearly identifies a crisis situation in all systems and uses frank language in addressing issues such as “inadequate” transit funding, a “dysfunctional” program structure that “needs to be totally overhauled,” and “nonsensical” transit fare structures. “Transit agencies of every size and character across the Commonwealth have been so challenged by the need to focus on survival that they cannot optimize normal day-to-day service, let alone plan for their future needs.” (1) The commission establishes links between funding and reform and sees the need across all systems to find long-term solutions that go beyond temporary “stopgap” measures. It calls attention to the particular transportation needs of a state population that is older and poorer than the national average and recommends support for those with special needs. The commission devotes considerable space to the challenges of public transit and recommends long-term, dedicated (operational, capital) and increased funding that can “stabilize and expand” public transportation service in Pennsylvania. Finally, the commission recommends major changes in the governance structure of SEPTA to correspond with its ridership base and distribution of funding subsidies.

Although there is much to be commended in the commission’s report, it also has significant shortcomings. Its stated highest priority is the “mobility of all Pennsylvanians” (5) and it seeks to address the “economic consequence of a failing transportation system” (2). This dual theme of mobility and commerce recurs throughout the report. However, the State bears responsibility not only for ensuring mobility and fiscal health, but also for building and maintaining environmentally-sensitive transportation systems that can be sustained for future generations. The commission does not give significant recognition to these concerns – many of which have a major, long-term impact on the fiscal health of the Commonwealth – and thus its recommendations to the State do not take the necessary step from merely coordinating the various transportation options to prioritizing them. The vast numbers of vehicles congesting Pennsylvania roadways not only impede mobility and economic productivity, but contribute significantly to the worldwide depletion of energy supplies, increased CO2 emissions and global warming of the planet. In addition, the health-related costs of vehicle emissions in the Commonwealth are $1.1-1.8 billion annually. While the governor and commission may have considered these factors to be beyond the scope of their work, they are integral to, and inseparable from, the transportation policy issues raised in the report:

Land use. The commission supports a policy of integrating transportation with “land use, economic development and environmental policies, programs and goals” (10), but concludes that “strict regulatory control on growth to curb sprawl is not plausible” (98). Sprawling growth is one of the most pervasive impediments to long-term sustainable transportation both state- and nationwide. It is not sufficient to merely note the “challenges” that population shifts bring, because decentralized growth and energy-efficient transit by nature represent competing interests.

Funding. The commission proposes significantly higher new funding for roads and bridges than for transit, yet clearly, transit should be prioritized in current and future proposals, and freight shipping increasingly transferred from road to rail. Prioritization of capacity expansion projects toward transit is especially critical. Safety considerations of existing roadways and bridges (reductions in fatalities and injuries) should be the overriding basis for highway funding, while unrelated improvements and any further efforts to increase the attractiveness of automotive travel should be discouraged.

Oversight and control. Although TWG supports increased PennDOT oversight, enforcement and consolidated procurement policies in transit agencies, it also recommends that to every extent possible operational decisions remain within the jurisdiction of local transit authorities. In keeping with the State’s role in safeguarding service levels and fiscal responsibility, TWG is critical of the aggressive focus on public-private partnerships (P3s) and is opposed outright to the sale of the PA turnpike. It also expresses its opposition to bringing Amtrak under State control (81); Amtrak is and should remain a national passenger rail service and under the control and support of the federal government. Although labor costs make up the largest share of operating costs, TWG also objects to any attempts to weaken the bargaining power of transportation labor unions; other cost reduction measures may be less expedient, but more just.

Accountability. The commission subjected seven transit agencies to audits, but did not require similar levels of scrutiny and accountability of the many State bureaus and commercial businesses responsible for roadways and bridges, even though 81% of PennDOT operational expenditures in 2005 were highway-related.[1] It makes good business sense to link State support to current performance, but the State must also have the foresight to support future-oriented, environmentally sustainable transit systems that may currently have only average or even poor performance indicators. “Accountability” and “return on investment” have not only economic, but also environmental significance (112). Any cost-benefit analysis needs to include external, social and environmental costs and benefits. The report emphasizes the funding aspect of SEPTA operations but does little to address the urgently needed reform of its organization and opaque management style. TWG welcomes the commission’s call for increased funding to SEPTA from a dedicated tax base; at the same time, the transit agency must be held more openly accountable to riders for its use of all current and future funding. This will ultimately benefit service quality and thus increase loyal ridership.

Taxes. Among its legislative proposals, the commission omits – and thus could not recommend – discussion of the repeal of the Commonwealth’s constitutional ban on funding public transit from motor fuel taxes. TWG supports this repeal. The commission acknowledges the political liability associated with raising taxes. In states across the nation, however, citizens have declared their willingness to accept tax increases if they can expect efficient, attractive transportation services in return. So it is commendable and appropriate that the commission does not shrink from making specific and feasible proposals regarding fees and taxes that could permanently close the funding gap.

In the absence of a responsible environmental perspective, little discussion in the report is devoted to encouraging aspects of transportation such as “transit priority” actions (37, 57, 70), mechanisms for managing growth and reducing auto travel (98), policies to encourage development patterns that reduce auto travel (99, 100), and transit-oriented development (101). The commission fails to voice its strong support for these measures in its recommendations to the State legislature.

In this light, TWG encourages the Pennsylvania State legislature to review and act upon the commission’s  recommendations, but to do so based on a fiscal perspective that includes responsible, long-term environmental controls.


[1] Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2005 Annual Report, p. 23.

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New Report: Getting Around Philadelphia10.26.06

Download and read the Transit Working Group’s comprehensive analysis of the transportation situation in Philadelphia.  The report covers five main areas of mobility:

·        Walking and Pedestrian Issues

·        Biking

·        Public Transportation

·        Driving

·        Traveling to and from Philadelphia

The report includes links to websites, statistics and budget information, recommendations for reading, and a set of policy recommendations.  This document will be the organizing framework for Green Party Transit Working Group for the next few years.

Download the report here.

Invite us to your next meeting!

We are also extremely interested in talking to folks about this report – and more importantly in the information in it!  If you have a group (any kind and any size), we would love to come to your next meeting to talk to you about transit!  To schedule a presentation, contact transit@gpop.org.

Hard Copies

If you would like a hard copy mailed to you, please email transit@gpop.org.  Hard copies cost us a few dollars to produce, so donations are welcome.

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Meeting minutes 10/26/200610.26.06

Transit Working Group

October 26, 2006 (Thursday) minutes

Black Sheep Restaurant, 247 South 17th Street

5:30 – 7:15 PM

Attendees: Hillary Aisenstein, Isabelle Buonocore, Peter Javsicas, John Litzke, Jr., David Odell, Daniel Ryan.

We welcomed John and Daniel. Daniel attended the “Philly Beyond Oil 2006″ conference and John found us through our transit website.

Philly Beyond Oil 2006. Greens played a major role here, particularly in the section on transportation. David will represent Hillary at the PBO 2006 review to take place Friday, Nov. 3 from 3-5:00 PM at the Energy Coordinating Agency, 1924 Arch Street. One positive result of PBO, we concluded, was bringing interested parties together, sharing ideas, and creating momentum to get things done. The aforementioned presence of Greens was good PR for us. We brought in $40 in sales from donations for our survey, the Kelle bike safety device and other items. Overall attendee numbers were respectable but not overwhelming (about 150). There appears to be some initiative on the part of the City to develop a response to global warming and energy matters. J. Barry Davis of the newly-formed Sustainability Working Group (City Solicitor’s Office) gave a presentation. We need to ensure that this group has citizen input and look forward to cooperating with SWG. One of the transportation section’s stated goals was to get suggestions about how to get things done on the municipal level, but the two breakout sessions yielded only limited insights in this area.

Getting Around Philadelphia. We made a preliminary decision on who should receive hard copies of Getting Around Philadelphia: George Dolphs’ mother (the survey is dedicated to George), John Hadalski and John Madera (City employees credited in GAP for their input), the state and national Green Party, the transit agencies SEPTA (Board Chair Pasquale T. Deon, Sr., Citizen Advisory Committee Chair Robert Clearfield, General Manager Faye Moore), PATCO and NJ Transit, and City organizations who are key in responding to environmental issues (Sustainability Working Group mentioned above, Managing Director’s Office, Mayor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, City Council Committee Chairs on Streets and Transportation, City Streets Dept. , Phila. City Planning Commission). David will put a list of additional activist groups and agencies together and request input from the others. Hillary will write up an article about our survey for the Green Star.

Transit issues. David brought up the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission hearing which he and Peter attended. A number of those giving testimony were very critical of SEPTA, including the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP). Peter explained that although there are many problems at SEPTA, these are only in part the responsibility of the transit agency. SEPTA is chronically underfunded, so the State bears ultimate responsibility for these difficulties. Peter suggested that the Greens should work with other groups to facilitate the discussion about transit funding, including rural Greens. He proposed holding a meeting at the Ethical Society to which also the transportation unions will be invited. The funding commission must deliver its recommendations by November 15, so we decided on a November 20 date for holding the meeting. David will look into using the Free Library to reduce expenses.

Other issues. There is a whole host of transportation-related issues that TWG needs to be addressing. Public transit is the most obvious. Others include pedestrian and bicyclist safety issues and the connection between transportation and security. More on these at our coming meetings.

GAP printing. Daniel, David and Isabelle are contributing financially to the next printing of Getting Around Philadelphia.

Our next meeting is on Thursday, November 9 at Peter’s office (Econsult), 36th and Market from 5:30 – 7:00 PM.

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About Transportation Working Group10.08.06

The Greens demand safe, affordable, and convenient means of transportation for all people, with special attention to the needs of people with disabilities, the poor, the very young and senior citizens.  We support forms of mobility in Philadelphia that both minimize our impact on the environment and encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as walking, bicycling and the use of public transit systems. Regional rail systems, trolleys, streetcars, buses and even taxis have their place in an integrated concept that reduces congestion, air pollution, noise, waste of fossil fuels and increases personal health and safety.

Contact transit@gpop.org to help.

News and Press Releases

Stay tuned.

Areas of Focus

There are four area of focus within the Transportation Working Group:

  • Walking
  • Biking – Bicycling is a fast, healthy, low cost, low pollution way of getting around. The Green Party of Philadelphia’s (GPOP) Transportation Working Group (TWG) will be concentrating on the needs, services, safety, and expansion of bicyclists in the city. We are working closely with various groups for input and advise (i.e.: the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia.)
  • Public Transport – The Green Party of Philadelphia took the early lead in 2003 calling for the state to provide dedicated funding for public transportation in Pennsylvania.  That campaign led to the Pennsylvania Transit Campaign, which successfully fought the proposed fare hikes and service cuts of 2004.
  • Cars – Driving motorized vehicles is a resource-intensive method of transportation in terms of cost, space, and environmental impact. The Green Party is looking at ways to shift car-based transportation to more sustainable alternatives as well as reduce the impacts of motorized vehciles to improve quality of life for all city residents.

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Transportation Options in Philadelphia10.07.06

Consider the many options to car ownership in Philadelphia. A car-free lifestyle can free up many thousands of dollars annually. And it more than covers the costs of alternatives such public transit, taxis, or car sharing options.

Public Transit:
SEPTA’s website: http://www.septa.org
SEPTA’s trip planner makes it relatively easy to figure out how to get from one place to another by a certain time.

Car Sharing:
Join PhillyCarShare!  It’s fast, easy, and best of all, it’s now free!

Taxis:
Philadelphia Taxis

Riding your bike:
Check out various maps of bike routes in Philadelphia: http://www.phila.gov/streets/bike_route_maps.html

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Get out of your car!10.07.06

Download the two-sided flyer that helps Philadelphians figure out exactly how much their car is costing them.  The flyer provides a brief listing of the costs of a car and compares them with riding public transportation, riding a bicycle, and/or car sharing.

Download the flyer [PDF] and distribute it to your friends, family, and neighbors.  At the very least, it will get people talking!

Posted in Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

Philly Beyond Oil 200610.06.06

Now that this conference is over, all of the presentations are archived at www.fossilfreephilly.org.  There is also an active listserv for people who are interested in these issues.  To get on that list, visit the website or email transit@gpop.org and mention the “Philadelphia Peak Oil” list.  Stay tuned for follow-up meetings…

Philly Beyond Oil 2006

Building a Just Society Beyond Peak Oil and Global Warming

www.FossilFreePhilly.org

Saturday, October 14, 2006

8:30 AM – 4:00 PM

Friends Meeting, 4th and Arch St. Philadelphia

Ever rising energy prices and global warming challenge all of us to reduce fossil fuel use by changing the way we use energy, making our city a better place to live.

Recognize the growing impact of global warming on our lives.
Join us in charting the next steps for our city

Learn about the paths others have taken which provide models to us.

·        First hand report on Cuba’s sustainable, organic agriculture

·        Hear how Austin, Texas is on target to reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

Meet fellow Philadelphians who are already putting solutions in place:

·        Local food production

·        Energy efficiency in buildings

·        Clean, affordable transportation

Speakers (partial list): Pat Murphy, Producer, Cuba the Community Solution; Dr. John Byrne, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy, University of Delaware; Juan Garza, CEO, Austin Energy (invited);  Liz Robinson, Ann Karlen, Bob Pierson, Mary Corboy, Roxanne Christensen, Bill Marston, Dennis Winters, Mike Ewall, Maurice Sampson, Mike Groman

Enjoy a Lunch of locally grown, organic food

Register to participate in the Sustainability Fair to show new ways to reduce energy consumption

Conference registration is $35, or $20 without lunch.

Agenda and registration available online at: www.FossilFreePhilly.org

By Mail: Dennis Winters, (215) 988-0929, x242
ECA, 1924 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA  19103-1404

Cosponsored by: Energy Coordinating Agency, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Sierra Club of SE PA, Perks Reutter Associates, Clean Air Council, White Dog Foundation, Earthcare Working Group of PYM (Quakers), Henry George School, Farm to City

Supported by: ActionPA / Energy Justice Network, Alliance for a Sustainable Future, Green Party of Philadelphia, Sustainable Business Network

Posted in Active GPOP Items, Transit Working Group, Working Groupswith Comments Off

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