Updated Aug 1
Los Angeles Times: On July 26, LA Times featured a story by Ari Bloomekatz: In a protest outside Los Angeles City Hall, the group alleges that about a million hours in bus service cuts amount to civil rights violations by Metro.
Saying that both federal and local officials have mostly ignored their calls for transportation reform in Los Angeles, the Bus Riders Union on Wednesday called on President Obama to help restore about 1 million hours in bus service cuts made over the last several years.
Hundreds of people led by the group rallied outside City Hall and loudly chanted: "President Obama, enforce, restore, expand our civil rights."
They danced and played drums, urged Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to take up their cause, and derided the Federal Transit Administration for not recognizing what they say are clear civil rights violations by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority caused by the service cuts.
"In Los Angeles, in particular, the violations around buses and civil rights has actually been carried out by a majority Democrat [Metro] board," said Sunyoung Yang of the bus riders group. The question, she said, is "can [Obama] challenge his own party?" Click here to read the full story. 
On July 30th the National Journal ran an article that seemed to leave them with more questions than answers. Titled "Transportation is a Civil Right" , the article asked the questions, "Does it make sense to consider access to transit or roads a civil right? If so, how does that change the policy conversation?"
The article goes on to quote Eric Mann, director of the Labor/Community Strategy Center."We're framing this fight right now as a fight over the future of our city," Eric Mann went on to say the city's emphasis on rail commuting is gentrification at its worst--harming the most disadvantaged populations who rely on bus service. "The rail system is going to bankrupt the transit system,"
KPCC 89.3 SoCal Public Radio
KPCC 89.3 spoke with BRU organizer Michelle Lopez, who spoke of the impacts of the nearly million hours of bus service cuts. "Everyone uses the bus, workers, students, right?" Lopez said. "And we pay for that service. But right now, the MTA is not giving us the service we're paying for. So bus riders, can't rely on any bus right now, because they're late, they're overcrowded, and that's all because of the service cuts that have been happening."
The Pacifica Evening News  quoted Betsy Estudillo of D.R.E.A.M. Team Los Angeles:  "This is the right time. This is when [Obama] needs our votes, when he needs communities of color to support him. He needs the Latino vote. This is the time to urge him to expand our civil rights."
Becky Dennison, Co-Director of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, also spoke to Pacifica: "All the investment is going into upper income white communities and all the divestment is coming from communities of color and for many, many years that's how civil rights violations were defined in this country."