Tuesday, May 22, 2007


With demonstrations happening outside against a proposed hike in LA bus fares, others gave angry testimony at MTA public forum inside the MTA headquarters. Some twenty Bus Riders Union supporters voiced their opposition to the fare hike proposal on the record. Many of the speakers gave testimony on the increased hardship a fare increase would have on people with disabilities, students, single mothers, people on fixed incomes, sufferers of asthma and respiratory problems, all while living in a city where rent and the cost of living is increasing relative to people's income. Others spoke on the impact that a fare hike would have on the environment, by reducing bus ridership and leading more people to use cars.

A statement issued on behalf of Ericka Smith of Strategic Concepts Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE/AGENDA); Marqueece Harris-Dawson of the Community Coalition; Rev William M. Campbell of Mount Gilead Baptist Church; and Minister Tony Muhammad of the Nation of Islam expressed discontent within the African American community over the proposed hikes. It read:

"We reject MTA CEO Roger Snoble’s proposal to force working class bus riders of
color to bear the burden of the MTA’s self-imposed budget crisis. If approved,
this fare increase would cause serious civil and human rights violations that
South L.A. residents should not have to endure. We are united in the effort to
defeat this ill-conceived and racially discriminatory fare policy. We call on
our elected representatives to vote for the interest of the most vulnerable
communities of South Los Angeles."

Thanks goes to the Bus Riders Union for the heads up.

The following is from KNBC (Los Angeles).

Bus Riders Demonstrate Outside MTA Headquarters
Riders Protesting Proposed Fare Hikes

LOS ANGELES -- Bus riders in Southern California hope to pressure the Metropolitan Transit Authority into rejecting proposed new fare hikes, KNBC reported.

Members of the Bus Riders Union led a noisy demonstration Saturday outside MTA headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

The demonstrators are angry that transit officials want to raise one-way bus and rail fares from $1.25 to $2 beginning in July.

Day passes would jump from $3 to $5, with another increase by January 2009.

As the demonstration was waged outside MTA headquarters, agency officials inside hosted a special forum to get more public input on the proposed fare hikes.

MTA officials said the hikes are needed to help eliminate growing budget deficits.

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