November 3: No SEPTA strike | Remapping politics in 2nd District Council race | City Branch and equity

There will be no SEPTA strike, at least for two years. TWU Local 234 and SEPTA management struck a deal that largely punted the hard choices over pensions and health care premiums 18 months into the future.

Did you ever think zoning remapping would become an issue in the 2nd District Council race? Trying to ride the blowback from the Little Pete’s demolition news, challenger Ori Feibush released a statement hitting Councilman Kenyatta Johnson on spot-zoning the parcel, and alleging untoward influence from campaign contributors. Notice how Feibush doesn’t say he opposes the redevelopment of the site. Instead, his complaint is about the use of Councilmanic prerogative, which he contrasts with a “more inclusive and transparent path…[accelerating] neighborhood dialogue to appropriately remap the neighborhoods in the 2nd District.”

Election Day is tomorrow, and while Republican Tom Corbett and Democrat Tom Wolf can’t find much to agree about, there’s little daylight between them on the issue of ride-sharing legalization. Wolf also sides with This Old City on the question of a Philadelphia carve-out.

Michael Noda makes the case that the most equitable use of the City Branch right-of-way is neither a park nor the “Cultural Corridor” bus rapid transit line, but express rapid bus service between Center City and 31st and Girard.

This doesn’t concern Philadelphia directly, but it’s worth watching anyway: two roughly equally sized municipalities in Berks County – Mount Penn Borough and Lower Alsace Township – will vote on a proposal to merge into one local government under Home Rule. PA has 2,562 municipalities across 67 counties, which causes problems particularly for older core cities and boroughs.

Billy Penn catches you up on the basics of SEPTA Key – the new payment technology that’s supposed to roll out next year. For a deeper dive into the details, PlanPhilly reporter Christine Fisher’s archives on the topic are essential reading.

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