🚌 Philly ✊ Harrisburg ✊ Pittsburgh 🚌 Riders and workers are ready to organize
More than 100 transit riders and workers from across Pennsylvania came together to bridge the social/physical distance and begin to organize for public transit that moves us past Covid-19.
Led by the Philly Transit Riders Union and Pittsburghers for Public Transit, the call attracted riders and workers from Westster, Central, and Eastern Pennsylvania. Riders and union workers from at least five systems joined – SEPTA, Port Authority of Allegheny County, Capital Area Transit, Mid-mon Valley Transit Authority, Beaver County Transit Authority.
We opened the floor to both riders and workers to share their experiences with our public transit agencies on both sides of the state. We talked about the campaigns that riders are pushing. Both PhillyTRU and PPT are pushing #FairFares campaigns, with many of the same goals. And we talked about how we all have to change our strategies and timelines in light of Covid-19
The huge unifying call to action?
Pennsylvania transit systems across the state are about to see $1.3 BILLION dollars from the most recent Covid-19 stimulus act. This is critical money that will keep our agencies afloat through the hardest of times. We need to make sure that money is spent transparently, democratically, and effectively while protecting workers and riders needs. Transit is essential to keep our cities afloat.
As if Covid-19’s devastating effect on PA transit systems wan’t enough, riders realize that our state is looking at a transit funding cliff in 2023. That’s right. As Act 89 comes to a close, transit systems across PA will lose all dedicated funding from the state. The effects could be devastating for our communities. We have been here before. We have been victorious, but we know that we need to organize if we want to keep our riders and economies moving.
PA transit riders and workers see that there is power in these unprecedented times. We see how the struggles of Covid-19 are bringing advocates together from all different interests – transit riders, transit workers, other labor, healthcare, prison reform, environmental, gender equity, LGBTQ, housing justice, racial justice. Transportation touches on all of these things.
We realize we need to build a broad, statewide movement to center our most vulnerable neighbors and win campaigns for better transit. This is our work, and we’re just beginning. Sign up below to stay in the loop as we go forward.