Riders who rely on public transportation and transit workers across the country have launched a series of actions over the next several days to rally support for emergency funding to prevent draconian service cuts, layoffs and fare hikes in more than 150 systems nationwide.
Today, April 20, 2010, the Transportation Equity Network (TEN), an alliance of local and state groups across the country, held a Save Transit! day of action as Transportation for America (T4America) launched its new and expanded online database http://t4america.org/resources/transitfundingcrisis/ that captures the thousands of service cuts and fare hikes across the country.
The Save Transit! rallies are being organized by TEN, a non-profit coalition that is raising awareness about the impact of service cuts and fare increases on mass transit riders around the country.
Between April 22 and April 28, protests and rallies will take place in Atlanta, GA; Washington D.C.; Los Angeles, San Francisco, CA; Minneapolis, St. Paul, MN; Kansas City, St. Louis, MO.
“At a time when our national economy is on the brink of recovery, and Americans across the country are demanding increased access to transportation options, transit systems should not have to cut service and raise fares, but should have the support of Congress,” says James Corless, campaign director for T4America. “This is a national crisis that needs a national response, now.”
In a headlining event in Atlanta, Georgia, where MARTA is faced with eliminating 30 percent of its routes, members of the local Amalgamated Transit Union, community leaders and transit supporters rallied and painted huge red Xes on buses and trains to illustrate what the severity of local cuts should the transit system receive no Congressional or state aid before June.
“America’s transit systems are in crisis just when we need them the most – for access to jobs, education, health care and opportunity,” says Laura Barrett, executive director of the Transportation Equity Network. “Service cuts and fare hikes are hitting low-income people, people of color, students, retirees and the disabled especially hard, and they're robbing all of us of a proven engine of economic growth. TEN is calling on Congress to keep America moving by letting our transit agencies use federal funds for operating expenses.”
This story originally appeared in Busride News on April 20, 2010 and is available here: http://www.busride.com/news.asp?N_ID=1111