I was heartened yesterday by the responses to my post about potentially losing the 1R. I was especially pleased to read that so many of you were ready to take action. Luckily, there are two very important things you can do to save the 1R and potentially prevent a large amount of the proposed AC Transit service cuts.
1. Contact the AC Transit Board of Directors and urge them to save the 1R from cuts
Today are the public hearings on the proposed service cuts. Going to the hearings and speaking in support of the 1R would make a huge difference, as the AC Transit Board, unlike certain other transit boards, listen to the people who show up and speak. Hearings will be held at 2pm and 6pm in the AC Transit 2nd Floor Board Room, 1600 Franklin Street. I’ll be at the 6pm hearing so maybe I’ll see you there.
If you can’t attend either of these hearings, send an email to the Board urging them to save the 1R. They’ll be accepting comments for at least several days so even if you can’t do it today, make sure to send an email. Here are their email addresses:
2. Urge Barbara Boxer & Dianne Feinstein to Support Emergency Transit Funding!
Though the stimulus bill did quite a lot for transit agencies in terms of capital and maintenance needs, very little of it could be used for operations. So all over the country, transit agencies are slashing service and raising fares. Help from the Senate is finally on the way though, as a bill was introduced just yesterday to provide emergency operations funding for transit agencies. Transportation for America said it in an email better than I could so please read and take action:
The new bill – the Public Transportation Preservation Act of 2010 – was introduced today in the Senate. It contains $2 billion in grants for transit agencies across the US for preserving vital service – and it couldn’t come at a better time.
We can’t stand by while transit systems crash and burn. Last year, Americans took more than 10.7 billion trips on transit, the highest level in over 50 years. Public transportation use has increased at nearly triple the growth rate of the US population.
At the same time that public transit agencies are working so hard to serve growing ridership, they face shortfalls in state and local revenues. Transit agencies nationwide are being forced to cut service, raise fares, and lay off workers. Jobs and services are being eliminated for those in greatest need.
Congress has been paying attention to our calls for help. The hard work and dedication of our partners and supporters – like you – led to the introduction of this bill. This bill will go a long way toward relieving the pain, but it’s up to us to make sure it gets passed.
Our lawmakers need to take a stand and say enough is enough: we can’t let our transit systems falter.
I did some preliminary research yesterday to find out how much of the $2 billion would go to AC Transit or to the Bay Area as a whole, but could not figure it out. If anyone knows, please share and I’ll update this post. Regardless of the amount though, any funding AC Transit received from this bill would be used to stop some of the proposed service cuts so please urge Senators Boxer & Feinstein to get on board and support transit!