Metro will vote on the Implementation of an
Apartheid Transportation System this Thursday
Are you Ready to Fight?
Free Public Transportation Now!
In June 2021 The Metro Board voted unanimously to pass a Fareless Transportation Pilot program filled with poison pills—such as the Hahn/Solis motion that no free transit can be funded until EVERY other MTA project is prioritized. The BRU has been calling on MTA CEO Phil Washington and now DEO Stephanie Wiggins to implement Free Public Transportation for all, No means testing, no public attestation of poverty, and No Damn Police to criminalize Black and Latinx Passengers.
While the Metro board says they want to eliminate racial profiling of Black passengers and CEO Stephanie Wiggins says she wants to change the culture at Metro, almost every board member as of now is prepared to implement a fareless transportation system that will essentially operate as an apartheid system, requiring Black and Latinx Bus riders to grovel, beg, and self-attest to poverty in order to qualify for a transportation system they and we already paid for. And if not, they can be ticketed, and if they resist or protest, arrested. Let’s be clear, it is ALWAYS 50% to 60% of all ticketed and arrested people are BLACK.
This Thursday Metro is looking to implement a very limited Phase 1 of their Fareless Transportation Initiative. As of now there are no more than ten thousand students participating in the pilot, and LAUSD, as of now has not signed on the dotted line to participate. That means that more than 600,000 students will be forced to pay the fare or be ticketed or even arrested on the buses and trains if they or their parents can’t afford to pay. Furthermore over 500,000 bus riders, just coming out of covid and 70% of who are living way under the poverty line will be faced with the same ultimatum.
We think there is a case to be made for Metro to repair the 20+ years of damage they have contributed to destroying Black and Latinx Communities. This includes almost the complete gutting of Crenshaw Blvd, Cutting more than 1 Million hours of service, Cutting the Rapid Bus Service, raising the fares by 100%, and spending $681 Million to criminalize Black passengers under the excuse of fare evasion.
Metro has paid for fareless transportation for the last year and a half out of millions received from the federal government, state government, and sales tax revenues. More than 40% of the Metro budget is set aside for capital project construction (new train lines, highway expansions, New expensive apartments that no one can afford, Payoffs to construction companies, etc.) Less than 20% of their budget goes to maintaining the service, and even within that, very little goes into maintaining the bus system. Meanwhile your sales tax dollars (50% of their budget) doesn’t even get spent to help you.
We had some encouraging conversations with Supervisor Holly Mitchell and we hope she can provide some leadership on this initiative to support the Bus Riders Union Campaign for Free Public Transportation, No Police on Metro Buses and Trains.
Join the BRU this Thursday to call on Metro Board Members Holly Mitchell, Hilda Solis, Eric Garcetti, Jackie Dupont Walker, James Butts, and Shelia Kuehl to urge them to implement Free Public Transportation for all! Give the poison pills to MTA developers, campaign contributors, construction companies. They deserve them.
Take a moment before Thursday to call your board member to make sure they vote the right way.
Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins: (213) 922-7555
South LA: Holly Mitchell: (213) 974-2222
Mayor Eric Garcetti: (213) 978-0600
East LA: Hilda Solis (213) 974-4111
North West LA: Shelia Kuehl: (213) 974-3333
Beach cities: Janice Hahn: (213) 974-444
West LA: Mike Bonin: (213) 444-3508
Inglewood: James Butts: (310) 412-5300
Jackie Dupont-Walker: (213) 747-1188
Metro Public Comment Instructions:
- Log on to https://boardagendas.metro.net to watch the board meeting.
- Call (888) 251-2949 English Access Code 8231160# Spanish Access code: 4544724#
- Press #2 when asked to give public comment in the beginning of the meeting