People’s Field Hearing Calls on the Federal Government for Action
Who: Transit riders, The Bus Riders Union, Transit Riders for
Public Transportation national campaign, community allies including
unions and community organizations
Where: Wilshire Blvd and Western Ave.
When: Tuesday, February 22 at 10:30 am
Bus Riders Union urges U.S. Representative John Mica and Senator Barbara Boxer to help stop massive nationwide fare increases and cuts to transit service!
As Congressional Representatives come to LA to hold a "Field Hearing" on the next Federal Transportation Act; the public is being denied an opportunity to speak on how billions of dollars should be spent on transit systems across the country.
In the midst of 90% of transit agencies in the U.S. raising fares and cutting transit service, the Bus Riders Union will hold the People's Field Hearing with community residents and allies to urge U.S. House Representative John Mica who will be hosting this "field hearing" to allocate federal funding to operate transit systems. Those hit the hardest are the low income and low income people of color who are losing services, traveling long distances, seeking employment and struggling to feed their families. Congress needs to step in and help stop massive service cuts in Los Angeles County and across the country.
Representative John Mica, Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be conducting hearings across the country.
Mica will be using the hearings to set priorities for the upcoming $500 billion federal surface transportation act. Last year many cities across the country suffered cuts including but not limited to the firing of 1000 transit workers in Chicago, the elimination of 66 bus lines out of 133 in Atlanta and 34 bus lines eliminated in New York City and its boroughs. In 2009, over 97,000 transit workers lost their jobs because of massive cuts in bus and train service throughout the country and the numbers for 2010 are projected to be much higher!
The nation and Los Angeles face major transit questions as money gets tighter
Some transit agencies are truly strapped, but MANY are choosing to invest in expanding capital projects instead of maintaining existing transit service. The Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is a perfect example of an agency that prioritizes multibillion-dollar capital expansion over sustaining and expanding the existing bus system. On MTA's chopping block are plans to cut 11 bus lines and truncate 16 lines in which thousands will experience elimination of weekend and midday service and in many cases buses will run only once an hour. "Most of these cuts are concentrated in South Los Angeles, where a high number of Black and Latino, low income bus riders live," said Esperanza Martinez, BRU organizer. These cuts come at the heels of the 388,000 hours of bus service cut by MTA last year!
About Francisca Porchas
- Jan 22 2013