Mar 30 2011

Bus Riders Union Says MTA Cuts Harm Civil Rights

Feature Stories | Published 30 Mar 2011, 9:58 am | Comments Off on Bus Riders Union Says MTA Cuts Harm Civil Rights -

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bus riders unionThe Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority just told Angelenos to “take a hike” by making it harder to find a bus. In a contentious 7-6 vote on March 24th the MTA Board approved historic cuts in bus service. Nine lines will be completely eliminated, and 11 others will be reduced. Mayor Antonio Villaregosa, City Councilmember Jose Huizar, and County Supervisor Gloria Molina were among the six who voted against the cuts. On the eve of the vote an editorial in La Opinion warned, “We are concerned that the MTA is returning to practices that in the past cost it 10 years of federal oversight, when the agency infringed upon the rights of minorities and low income riders by giving excessive priority to the rail system at the expense of buses.” Los Angeles public transit riders have seen continual rate hikes without substantial service increases in the past few years. The Bus Riders Union reports that fare increases in 2007 and 2010 combined raised individual fares by 44% and day passes by a whopping 142%, while bus service was reduced 7% in the same period. In February MTA’s CEO Art Leahy justified a reduction in buses by explaining the MTA would “do more with less” and focus on “quality over quantity.” The Bus Riders Union has filed for an investigation into MTA practices by the Federal Transit Administration.

GUEST: Esperanza Martinez with the Bus Riders Union

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