NEW BRU Street Theater Piece to Stop The Bus Service Cuts
by Yuliya Aleshina on Saturday, March 5, 2011
Today the Bus Riders Union Street Theater Presented The Dramatization of Impacts of Successive Rounds of MTA Bus Service Cuts on LA's Bus Riders of Color.
Thirty plus Bus Riders and supporters came out to watch the show and where transformed into actors themselves as they pulled those passing by into the action.
This street theater performance, an adaptation of the classic short story by Cuban writer Onelio Jorge Cardoso, was performed by bus riders from South and East LA as a form of protest against the devastating series of bus service cuts currently being proposed by the Los Angeles County MTA. The play tells the story of Francisca, an old woman who is being pursued by Death on the train but constantly evades him as she makes her away in Los Angeles - from her grandchildren's school to the hospital to the market - all the while spreading the word about the proposed bus service cuts that put her and so many other bus riders at risk.
The performance took place at the intersection of Western Avenue and Pico Boulevard where two Rapid bus lines on the chopping block intersect - the 757 Western bus and the 730 Pico bus. On these two lines alone, there are over 16,000 daily boardings.
The MTA is currently proposing eliminating 11 bus lines and truncating or reducing service on 16 other bus lines. If approved by MTA's Board, MTA will eliminate 5% of its total service. This comes on the heals of a 5% total reduction in service last year, including the elimination of 9 bus lines and the truncation or severe reduction of 7 others. MTA has also raised fares 40% since July 2007. Hundreds of thousands of daily bus riders, the vast majority of who are low-income people of color, have been and will be impacted by these cuts. The Bus Riders Union is calling on MTA Board members including Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take leadership in rejecting this draconian proposal from MTA staff. For the Bus Riders Union analysis of the cuts check out our blog "MTA - No Matter How You Spin it, You're Rolling Back Civil Rights" and for detailed maps of all the lines proposed to be cut and elimated click here!