May 4, 2021
Contact: Joty Dhaliwal (e) email@example.com (m) 415-269-5217
On March 11, President Biden signed a $1.9 trillion rescue bill, sending $1.7 billion to the Bay Area for transit. This money is intended to create union jobs and to provide services vital to working people’s daily lives. The time to do that is now, as working families struggle to recover from the health and economic impacts of the global pandemic.
With all that money, why are Bay Area transit agencies adopting austerity budgets for the fiscal year that begins July 1? Because the regional board that allocates each transit agency’s share of funding – the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) – has it locked up. Instead of dealing with today’s crisis, MTC wants to put off spending money to a future date. It made that decision in private discussions with transit agency management, excluding the workers and riders who are on the frontlines of the crisis.
Instead of creating good union jobs and restoring pre-pandemic service levels rapidly over the coming year, MTC and management want to crowd more riders onto our buses before it is safe. Riders continue to be passed up by full busses and require more service without having to compromise their safety.
Labor, riders and the community will rally at the Transbay Terminal and march to MTC headquarters to demand that MTC unlock the transit funds now. If this money is not spent to quickly restore service as the Bay Area re-opens, public transportation in the Bay Area will suffer a long-term decline.
When: Thursday May 6th @ 12:30pm-1:30pm.
Where: Salesforce Transit Center, 123 Beale Street (near Beale and Mission), San Francisco for press conference, then march 2 blocks to MTC headquarters.
What: Press conference speakers will include Kim Tavaglione of the SF Building and Construction Trades Council, Liz Ortega of the Alameda Labor Council, Jovanka Beckles of the AC Transit board, and transit rider Regina Islas. Mult box available onsite to plug into. Labor, riders and the community will then march to MTC HQ with a 28-foot banner. At the building, they will reflect on what transit means to them and will tape their answers to the building wall.
Who: Co-hosts include SF Transit Riders, East Bay and SF DSA, CA Conference Board of Amalgamated Transit Union as well as ATU Locals 265, 1574 and 1575, Transport Workers Union Local 250A, Sunrise Movement Bay Area, Urban Habitat, Public Advocates, Genesis, Working Partnerships USA, Silicon Valley Youth Climate Action, six Bay Area Labor Councils (San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, South Bay and North Bay), and the SF Building and Construction Trades Council.