Riders who rely on public transportation and transit workers across the country today launched a series of actions over several days to rally support for emergency funding to prevent draconian service cuts, layoffs and fare hikes in more than 150 systems nationwide.
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 a new and expanded online database capturing the thousands of service cuts and fare hikes across the country.
“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,” said 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,” said 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.”
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. For more information, including interviews with participants or photos from the events, please contact Paula Chrin Dibley at 202-478-6138 or firstname.lastname@example.org.