All friends of the Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union
Bus Riders Union Calls on MTA Board to take action tomorrow at the MTA Board Meeting.
Please help us to advocate for:
1) Move forward with Free Public Transportation for all LAUSD students when they return to school
2) Implement free public transportation for all MTA riders until December 31.
3) In 2021 work to continue free fares for all. If at any time fares are charged, agree that fares will never be higher than $50 a month for an unlimited ride Bus/Rail pass and 50 cents with free transfers for one way rides
4) Stop all fare collections to avoid inevitable anti-Black racial profiling. Allow all passengers to pay on the honor system and those who cannot afford to pay will not be harassed, ticketed or arrested.
We Need Your Help Today
- Please sign on to the attached letter, with organizational identification. Send logos to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be in touch with each group for more details on this ongoing campaign.
- Please Join us at the virtual MTA Board Meeting tomorrow at 10am, write in a brief public comment on items 7 and 36 and 39 (Comments are no more than 700 words long) Join online here: https://bit.ly/2Mh6DNb or call to listen into the meeting: (877) 422-8614 extension 3490064#
- Please call L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, Any MTA board member you know or who represents you, and MTA CEO Phil Washington to say you support the Bus Riders Union Free Public Transportation Campaign (Click here to view their office contact information)
The Sign on Letter: mta-board-sign-on-for-free-public-transportastion-
THE BACK STORY
The Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union have been working for 20 years for free public transportation for students and all MTA riders. Because of the success of our Consent Decree with the MTA (1996-2006)— during which we won $2.7 billion in bus improvements, 2500 CNG Buses and dramatic reductions in fares—there are some on the MTA board who have resented us for taking them to federal court on civil rights charges and have opposed us even if they agree with us. We have been respectful and relentless in reaching out to MTA board members and lately there has been a thaw.
The Strategy Center is deeply grateful for the initiative of LAUSD Superintendent Austin Beutner, LAUSD Board Members Monica Garcia and Jackie Goldberg, and MTA Board Members Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Hilda Solis, and City Councilman Mike Bonin for the possibility of Free Public Transportation for all LAUSD Students as early as this September. This has not passed at the MTA yet. This is a terrific initiative and the Bus Riders Union, along with our Taking Action student leaders at Roosevelt, Augustus Hawkins, and Ouchi High Schools, is very happy to be a visible part of that broad coalition. We have also been in conversation with MTA CEO Phil Washington who has been thoughtful and sympathetic to the general direction of lower fares and increased service.
The COVID 19 developments. Even before COVID 19 for the students, the unemployed, the homeless, for the urban poor and working class free public transportation is the only price they can afford. Now, it is even more urgent to move to free public transportation. The MTA with a $7 billion budget and 4 ½ cent sales taxes is one of the most well financed government agencies in the U.S. We acknowledge that the MTA is losing revenue from dramatically reduced sales tax revenue during the shut down. But that is nothing compared to the dire and terrifying conditions of 500,000 very low-income Black. Latino(x) and women riders who desperately need free public transportation when the city opens up.
There are profound environmental and climate change improvements that can be won through Free Public Transportation. This would dramatically increase public transportation use, significantly reduce auto use, and dramatically reduce air toxins, criteria pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions from autos Under the present $100 a month pass and $1.75 for a one way ticket auto purchases among low-income workers have increased by 400% and MTA ridership is down at least 10 percent. Free Public Transportation is a civil rights, human rights, women’s rights, income equality, and climate justice victory for all.
We urgently need you to sign on to our campaign. We have a real chance to win significant victories for Black, Latinx and all working people.