The BRU's Pollution Watch Series #6
Ask yourself: How many people do I know with asthma or cancer? Why are Black and Latino children 3 times more likely to die of asthma than white children?
If done right, new Rapid Buses could have a big impact on public health in urban communities of color; just look at the Wilshire Rapid 720, where--under pressure from the BRU--the MTA added new buses and runs Rapid Bus at night and on the weekends. The 720 helps remove thousands of tons of toxins from the air by attracting riders out of cars that spew chemicals like particulate matter and oxides of nitrogen and cause asthma and cancer. But, the story on other Rapid Bus lines isn’t as good as on Wilshire, because MTA saves money by turning Local service into Rapid Bus without adding many new buses. That’s why MTA bus riders are stuck with slow service on Broadway, Vermont, and others, and those Rapid lines have attracted few or NO new riders out of their carcinogenic cars. And that’s why the BRU calls these policies “transit racism.”
Everybody knows that the chemicals in car exhaust are making people sick, and that Black and Latino communities are hit the hardest, but most people just complain about it. The BRU is pressuring MTA to implement a recent federal court order to expand Rapid Bus by at least 134 buses. Are you going to finally get involved in the fight to clean up the air, starting with more Rapid Buses, so that you and your kids can take the bus to the park more often than you have to take it to the lung doctor at County General?