Barry Johnson, Communications Director
Email: [email protected]
Majority Leader Katherine Gilmore Richardson Releases Statement on SEPTA Bus Revolution Project
PHILADELPHIA – Today, Philadelphia City Council Majority Leader Katherine Gilmore Richardson (At-Large) released the following statement regarding SEPTA’s Bus Revolution project:
“I want to thank General Manager Leslie Richards and Acting Board Chair Ken Lawrence for their partnership and collaboration with City Council as we seek to make the Bus Revolution plan the best that it can be for every Philadelphian – not just a vocal few.
“After a briefing with Council members last week, SEPTA has agreed to hold additional meetings within the next two weeks in the communities that have shared significant concerns about the current plan, and who, based on data provided by SEPTA, did not receive the same level of engagement. These meetings were agreed upon collaboratively by SEPTA and City Councilmembers, and they will allow us to ensure everyone’s voice, no matter the zip code, is not only heard, but also fully considered in the final iteration of the plan. “I applaud SEPTA for their deep collaboration and commitment to working together to get this plan right. SEPTA’s work should serve as a model for how community engagement is done. Together, we are working to ensure SEPTA is fully funded, and that our transit system provides a safe and a pleasurable experience for all of us.
“For those who were the loudest in 2020 that Black lives matter, who claimed to believe in racial equity when making decisions, show us right now, in this defining moment for our transit system, that you mean what you said because we do not only hear what you say, but we watch what you do.
“Philadelphia has deeply rooted communities, especially Black and brown communities, that have been using the bus system for generations and rely on it alone to live their daily lives – to buy food and medicine, get to work, pick up their children, and go to doctor’s office.
“Understanding the needs of riders in Wynnefield, Strawberry Mansion, Lawncrest, Olney, Nicetown, and Hunting Park, to name a few, is more than just showing up for a meeting – it requires a deep understanding of how residents in those neighborhoods live and what they need.
“To many residents, the current version of the bus plan is just another example of the tale of two cities – a place where changes benefit more affluent communities and leaves those who have lived here and held this city on their shoulders the longest behind. For years, I’ve been watching as experts and specialists show up in our neighborhoods to tell us what we need and what will make our lives better without ever really listening to what we want. I am a lifelong Philadelphian who has seen growth and development explode in our city, and I have waited with my family members and friends from Seybert Street to Jackson Street for that growth to benefit us all. “Working with SEPTA to ensure that the biggest transportation project in a generation truly meets the needs of all of our residents is how we ensure racial equity can be a reality in America’s poorest big city.”
Councilmember Katherine Gilmore Richardson is the youngest woman in Philadelphia to be elected citywide and the youngest Black woman ever elected to Philadelphia City Council. As an at-large councilmember, she has championed issues such as increasing transparency and accountability in city government, fighting for good-paying jobs on behalf of Philadelphia workers, creating safer neighborhoods for our children, and advancing environmental justice. Stay updated at PHLCouncil.com, on Facebook & Instagram @CouncilmemberKGR and on Twitter @CouncilwomanKGR.