GVF hosted its final event of the year, Insights Event with PA State Representative Matt Bradford, Majority Leader, and SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards during a panel discussion moderated by GVF's Executive Director Rob Henry.
Rob Henry, Executive Director of GVF, kicked off the event by thanking GVF's partners and sponsors for another year of supporting GVF's work in the Greater Philadelphia Region. GVF is a not-for-profit organization working to inspire mobility choices for all through Transportation Demand Management, or TDM. TDM refers to strategies, programs, or policies designed to reduce drive-alone trips and enable the transportation system to function more effectively and efficiently through alternative transportation options such as biking, walking, carpooling, vanpooling, public transit, or telework. By implementing TDM strategies and reducing drive-alone trips we can improve our climate and increase the efficiency of our regional roadways.
Maureen Farrell, GVF's Deputy Executive Director, recapped GVF's 2023 accomplishments, including GVF's 2023 events, Streets for All press events in the Borough of Phoenixville and North Coventry Township, progress on the Bike More, Drive Less initiatives in Lower Merion Township and Whitpain Township, GVF's 3-year Strategic Plan, and shuttle management, including the Conshohocken Cab, a new shuttle starting in 2024.
The discussion theme among Majority Leader Bradford and SEPTA General Manager Richards was the critical need for additional funding for transportation needs within our region. Majority Leader Bradford also noted that half of the Senate and House will be up for reelection in 2024, which can present its own challenges.
Highlights of Leader Bradford's TDM Insights included:
The work the legislature is doing to address climate change and how the federal government is leading the charge.
Threading the needle on the need for electric vehicle fees to support infrastructure but still make owning an electric vehicle worthwhile.
The impacts of how and where people work in addressing equity issues in transportation and education.
The support of the 2% allocation of the PA sales tax towards public transportation.
“We are happy to have good people in leadership that understand Southeastern Pennsylvania. We are very lucky to have them… we have our speaker, our leader, our chair of appropriations, all in the majority in the house from Southeastern Pennsylvania, and our Governor from Southeastern Pennsylvania. So, we don’t have to sell it too hard, they know how important SEPTA is. We feel really good about that.”- SEPTA's CEO and GM Leslie Richards on legislative support for SEPTA
Highlights of Leslie Richards's TDM Insights included:
Steps SEPTA has taken in 2023 to address safety on SEPTA, including increasing the safety budget by 60% and using SEPTA's 30,000 cameras to help with safety on and off of SEPTA.
Rebranding subway, trolleys, and high-speed rail as the SEPTA Metro to make it easier to navigate.
The SEPTA Bus Revolution and reimagining Regional Rail.
Fare priorities, including SEPTA's Key Advantage and free rides for children under 12 and seniors over 65.
GVF’s Executive Director Rob Henry concluded the event stating, “GVF will continue to work with local, state and federal lawmakers to find creative solutions to provide adequate funding for TDM programs, transportation infrastructure, including mass transit and trail connection. In early 2024, we will be releasing our 2024 legislative priorities, which we will work with our Advocacy Committee, as well as board of directors and partners’ support, to help advance.”