No Means Test in Exchange for Free Public Transportation
Metro Town Hall March 31, 2021 6:30pm PDT
We write to the Black, Latinx, Immigrant Rights, Labor, Environmental, and Human Rights Movement with an Urgent Request to Oppose the MTA’s Efforts to once again punish its passengers by proposing a means test to get its long overdue “fareless transit plan” that will force low-income people to “prove” their poverty when it is the MTA that is as always in moral poverty. This is so outrageous that we urge you to sign on to this letter, call everyone you know including every elected official to oppose it, and to get MTA board members to drop even the discussion of this proposal and kill it in its racist intent and impact.
The Bus Riders Union has fought the MTA on behalf of our and your members for more than 30 years now—same MTA, same Transit Racism.
The MTA is saying that if it would consider “fareless transit” that the MTA calls “free public transportation” but only if MTA riders “prove” they are low income and sign up for their APARTHEID PASS SYSTEM.
In 1996 when the BRU was negotiating with the MTA on a 10 year Consent Decree the MTA put language into the decree, that our attorneys did not fight to remove, that they had the right to institute a “low-income pass” at any time in the future. The BRU was so infuriated that we carried out a “substitution of counsel” in which attorney Amos Dyson represented the Strategy Center in front of federal judge Terry Hatter to challenge the language. We argued that such a pass would be a stigma for low-income rider, racist in that so many Black and Latin@ riders were very low-income, and an attac on immigrants who would have to prove income in ways that could lead to possible arrest and deportation. Judge Hatter ruled for the BRU. He told the MTA that they could not impose such as low-income pass without coming back to federal court where the BRU could challenge its constitutionality and possible civil rights violations.
Can Your Organization Sign onto This Campaign?
Now, the MTA, now bound by federal courts, is doing back to their plantation mentality. MTA ridership is down 10%. The service is terrible. The MTA has contept for its passengers. This is a racist insult.
Does the MTA tell low-income riders they do not have to pay the 4 ½ cent sales taxes to pay for the MTA rail addiction? Of course not. Does the MTA tell Black passengers they do not have to pay because 50% to 60% of all tickets and arrests on MTA trains and buses go to Black passsegers.
Why should anyone have to prove low-income status after paying $2 on every $100 purchase to the MTA to receive overcrowded buses, high fares, and racist insults.
We thought the MTA was moving in the direction of justice finally supporting the BRU’s “Free Public Transportation for all Campaign.” Instead, the MTA is making things worse to once again criminalize its passengers.
Free public transportation for all. Stop METRO’s UNFARE TRANSIT PLAN NOW.
Free Public Transportation for all. Stop Metro’s UNFARE TRANSIT PLAN NOW
- CALL BOARD MTA MEMBERS
- JOIN OUR COALITION AND SIGN ON TO THIS LETTER TO MTA
- TESTIFY AT THE TOWN HALL TOMORROW.
- TELL ALL MTA BOARD MEMBERS WE CAN’T HAVE A TOWN HALL IF THEY DON’T SHOW UP. MAKE SURE WE ARE ALL ON THE VIDEO CONFERENCE AND NOT JUST PHONING IN.
THE TOWN HALL IS A SHAM. THE PROPOSAL IS RACIST. WE ARE BOTH HEARTBROKEN FOR BUS RIDERS AND OUTRAGED AND MTA’S INABILITY TO STOP TRANSIT RACISM. NO APARTHEID PASS SYSTEM.
Join us this Wednesday @6:30 pm to give public comment in favor of Free Public Transportation for ALL
CALL BOARD MTA MEMBERS
TELL THEM WE CAN’T HAVE A TOWN HALL
IF THEY DON’T SHOW UP.
Phillip Washington: (213) 922-7555
Eric Garcetti: (213) 978-1028
Hilda Solis: (213) 974-4111
Holly Mitchell: (213) 974-2222
Sheila Kuehl: (213) 974-3333
Janice Hahn: (213) 974-4444
Kathryn Barger: (213) 974-5555
James Butts: (310) 412-5300
Mike Bonin: (213) 444-3508
Jackie Dupont Walker: (213) 747-1188
Paul Krekorian: (213) 473-7002
Aja Najarian: (818) 549-0808
Robert Garcia: (562) 570-6801