With the reauthorization of the Federal Surface Transportation Act (FSTA) still pending in Congress, the first delegation of Bus Riders Union members visited House Representative Watson's office to meet with her district transportation staffer, Ken Bell, last Thursday August, 20th, 2009.
The good news is that as a result of the calls and emails sent by members of the TRPT campaign over the past month, the number of congressmembers co-sponsoring H.R. 2746 (Carnahan-MO) has grown. As you may recall H.R. 2746 is a marker bill that will allow more federal transit dollars to be used for the cost of operating buses and trains in the upcoming $500 billion federal surface transportation act (FSTA).
As local transit agencies cut much needed service and raise fares, despite the obligation the U.S. has to reduce green house gas emissions to curb global warming, forces in the world are calling for the restriction of auto use and working to implement policies to invest in a sustainable mass transit. Critical factors that shape the BRU’s programmatic demands – auto restriction, bus-centered system with bus only lanes and fare reductions as a means to free fares – are highlighted in the following articles of the last two weeks.
by Cesar Chavez
BRU member Cesar Chavez testifies at the July 23rd MTA Board Meeting, demanding that the Clean Air and Economic Justice plan be included in the MTA's Long Range Transportation Plan. Click here to read the blog and see him speak!
BRU members equipped with cell phones jumped on the buses to encourage bus riders to make phone calls to their congressmembers to co-sponsor H.R. 2746, a bill in the House introduced by Congressmember Carnahan (MO), that will allow 30-50% of federal transit dollars to be invested into transit operations.
by Daniel Kim
Transit Advocates Urge Congressional Leaders in a National Day of Action
Manuel Criollo, Lead Organizer of the Bus Riders Union, interviewed by Race, Poverty and the Environment, Spring 2009 Edition.
We are featured in this piece in a Slate publication called "Big Money". It does a good job at showing how the stimulus transportaion funds follow
the status quo of federal transit funds that virtually fund exclusively
the expansion of highways over public transportation. It's titled,
"Potholes in the Stimulus Plan - Why isn’t mass transit part of the
package?" by Amy Tennery.