UPDATE: It looks like the AC Transit Board of Directors may not be voting tomorrow on a fare increase! Instead, they’re looking into a putting a parcel tax initiative on the November ballot. So tomorrow at their hearing, they’ll likely vote to postpone discussing fare increases until after the November election. (BTW – last time I’m relying on the SF Chronicle as a source.) Also, the Board will be considering sending a letter of opposition to the FTA’s proposal on nixing school buses from public transit.
This morning, I sat down on the bus to be greeted by a flyer with red, bold writing, proclaiming:
Governor’s Budget Cuts $19 Million from AC Transit.
Phone calls needed to protect your bus service!
So I knew I’d be writing about the need to take action for transit this evening. At the time, I hadn’t realized that transit’s being attacked by all levels of government this week. Luckily, there are three ways you can take action to stop these attacks.
1. LOCAL – Remember last month when I reported on the AC Transit public hearing about fare increases? Well, that was just a hearing to take public comments. This Wednesday, the AC Transit Board of Directors will be discussing the four plans and likely voting to implement one of them. This may be your last chance to speak out against fare hikes – especially the increases for monthly passes. Here’s the hearing info:
AC Transit Board of Directors Meeting
2nd Floor Board Room
1600 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612
Wednesday, June 11, 2008 @ 5:00 p.m.
2. STATE – While AC Transit will almost certainly raise fares, the agency’s not content to sit by while the Governor takes $1.4 billion away from public transit, including $19 million from AC Transit alone. This just doesn’t make sense – at a time when gas prices are rising and commuters are finally realizing it makes sense to take public transit, our state is defunding public transit agencies. AC Transit sent out an email, put out flyers, and is featuring an action alert on their front page. I hope other transit agencies are doing the same. If you care about transit, take 30 seconds to call Governor Schwarzenegger:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
(916) 445-2841 (phone)
(916) 558-3160 (fax)
online comment form
It’s simple – just call and say your name and what city you live in. Then, say that you oppose any cuts to public transit funding. Really – it takes 30 seconds so pick up your phone and call now. And if you’re too freaked out about calling, send in a fax or make a comment online.
3. FEDERAL – Thanks to OaklandNews, I found out that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is trying to prohibit public transit agencies from offering special bus routes to school. I had to read the article twice because it was just so hard for me to believe. I know the Bush administration FTA hasn’t been too friendly to transit, but this is outrageous! Ostensibly, the FTA is trying to protect private school bus companies (in other words, just like with everything else, they want to privatize, privatize, privatize). Congresswoman Barbara Lee is standing up to the FTA about this proposal, and she could use the support of others to urge the FTA to back off from forcing students to walk or forcing parents to shell out even more gas money to drive their kids to school. The Education Report tells us how to chime in:
Want to give the feds feedback on the proposal? You can submit a comment online at: http://www.regulations.gov, or fax it to: 202-493-2251. The proposal is listed under Docket No. FTA-2008-0015.
Well, that’s it for now on the transportation front. Hopefully next time I’ll have some better news, but for now, don’t sulk – take action!