The Community Says NO to Fare Hikes

AC Transit Board Can Be Persuaded – Final Vote on June 11

On Wednesday May 21st, about 100 bus riders, community and labor groups and elected officials gathered outside of an AC Transit Board Hearing at Oakland’s City Hall to prevent proposed FARE HIKES. They then proceeded to testify at a packed, 3-hour hearing before AC Transit’s Board (longer description follows).

Many AC Transit Board members were sympathetic to riders and have asked their staff for more information as to how much the proposed fare hike will hurt youth, seniors, and low-income riders etc.

The fight isn’t over until the final vote, slated for June 11 AC Transit Board Meeting.

We will need the help of all YOU to keep up the pressure on the Board as well as support alternative funding sources for AC Transit.

RIGHT NOW, Governor Schwarzenegger is looking to steal transit funds to pay for other things in next year’s budget. We need your help today to protect these funds so that AC Transit won’t have to raise its fares or cut service to balance its books.

Call the Governor and Senator Perata today to tell them to stop stealing from AC Transit and other bus systems. They must protect funding for AC Transit in the State Budget!

Governor Schwarzenegger - Phone: 916-445-2841 Senator Perata – Phone: 510-286-1333

And stay tuned about the final vote on the fare hike…

More details on the demonstration and How to You Can Help the Fight for a Better AC Transit

At 3:30pm, High school students, mothers, seniors and other bus riders, along side representatives of labor unions, community and homelessness organizations, elected officials, policy groups and advocates all spoke out against the proposed hikes. They asked AC Transit to find alternative funding and demand its fair share of the regional, state and federal transportation dollars rather than raise fares on the backs of riders- among the East Bay’s most impoverished and transit dependent.

Assemblymember Loni Hancock, Contra Costa Supervisor John Gioia, Oakland City Councilmember Jean Quan, Richmond City Councilmember Tony Thurmond, and a representative of Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson were all there to support affordable transit and support our demands.

Groups and organizations represented included:

ACORN
Alameda County Department of Public Health
APAYL: Oakland Asian Students Educational Services
ATU 192
Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition
Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency
Congregations Organizing for Renewal
Ditching Dirty Diesel
East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy
East Bay Asian Youth Centers
Genesis
Greenlining
Kids First Oakland/ REAL HARD
Mandela Marketplace
Minority Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTC
Mujeres Unidas Y Activa
Oakland Youth Movement (OYM)
Posada de Colores, Unity Council
St. Mary's Center
Transportation and Land Use Coalition (TALC)
UNITE HERE
United Seniors of Oakland and Alameda County
Urban Habitat
WYSE
Youth Service California
Youth Together

To see photos go to:

http://www.urbanhabitat.org/uh/actransit-5-2008

For news reports

KPFA report on rally

Bus rates spark rally,Oakland Tribune

Fuel costs prompt talk of AC Transit fare hike, SF Chronicle

http://www.kcbs.com/More-AC-Transit-Fare-Hikes-on-the-Table/2228932

Then, after a 30 minute rally, all the demonstrators filed inside the hearing to pack the room and give testimony as to the unfairness and the inevitable hardship of the proposed fare hike (details of the main proposal follows).

After the 3 hour hearing, AC Transit Board members had a chance to speak. Most, including Peeples, Kaplan, Wallace and Fernandez, were sympathetic to the concerns of the public. One Board member, Rebecca Kaplan, stated she would not vote to raise the youth or senior fares. Another, Greg Harper, suggested that they explore creating a lower-cost fare for students so that they could get to and from school. Both Kaplan and Harper also asked AC Transit staff to provide more information to the Board about how the various fare proposals would impact AC Transit’s major ridership groups (students, seniors, disabled, adults) as well as data by race and income.

The AC Transit Board appears to be swayable, particularly as it relates to the youth and senior passes. But they are in a difficult situation and we need to work to find a long-term solution to their budget woes so they don’t have to turn to their riders to make up their budget gaps.

If you are interested in getting involved in the long-term fight to save our bus systems, then join the Transportation Justice Working Group by calling Lindsay at 510-844-1191 or emailing at Lindsay(at)urbanhabitat.org. Or you can show up to our meetings- first Tuesdays of the month, 3pm – 5pm, at 436 14th Street, 12th floor (corner of Broadway) in downtown Oakland.

Details of the Staff-Recommended Fare Hike Proposal

FOR YOUTH


Current Cost:

Proposed Cost:

Change in Cost:

1 ride

$ .85

$1.00

14% increase

Monthly pass

$15.00

$28.00

87% increase

Transfer

$ .15

$ .15

No change

FOR SENIORS & DISABLED


Current Cost:

Proposed Cost:

Change in Cost:

1 ride

$ .85

$1.00

14% increase

Monthly pass

$20.00

$28.00

40% increase

Transfer

$ .15

$ .15

No change

FOR ADULTS


Current Cost:

Proposed Cost:

Change in Cost:

1 ride

$ 1.75

$2.00

14% increase

Monthly pass

$70.00

$80.00

14% increase

Transfer

$ .25

$ .25

No change

AC Transit Board Members

Chris Peeples (President – At large)
Email: cpeeples@actransit.org, Telephone: 510-891-7151, Fax: 510-658-1425

Rebecca Kaplan (Vice President – At large)
Email: rebeccak@igc.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7146, Fax: (510) 891-7157

Joe Wallace (Ward 1: El Sobrante, San Pablo, Richmond, El Cerrito, Albany, Kensington and most of Berkeley)
Email: jwallace@actransit.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7143, Fax: (510) 234-7689

Greg Harper (Ward 2: Emeryville, Piedmont, South Berkeley and North Oakland)
Email: gharper@actransit.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7145, Fax: (510) 420-8913

Elsa Ortiz (Ward 3: City of Alameda, most of Oakland, and Northern part of San Leandro)
Email: eortiz@actransit.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7211, Fax: (510) 891-4705

Rocky Fernandez (Ward 4: Most of San Leandro, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo, Ashland, the other unincorporated areas of Alameda County and Eastern Hayward)
Email: rrfernan@actransit.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7154, Fax: (510) 891-4705

Jeff Davis (Ward 5: Fremont, Newark and most of Hayward)
Email: jsdavis@actransit.org, Telephone: (510) 891-7171, Fax: (510) 891-4705