Well, this is what was promised for today’s noontime transit worker rally at the Old Federal Building on Golden Gate and Polk:
Turns out that Jesse didn’t show. (Here’s what you would have seen and heard.)
But a couple-hundred or so transit workers and allies were on hand at the plaza in front of Big Blue:
And here’s how they got there. How apropropriate!
Are riders and drivers really united? Not that I can see, not in San Francisco. I’m mean, I’m sure that all involved would like Uncle Sucker to rain cash down upon the City, but beyond that, there’s not much uniting these groups. It would be nice to cancel the already-useless Central Subway and use the extra billion (or two or three) that that would free up to pay for transit people are using today, but the system doesn’t work that way, obviously. Oh well.
On It Goes:
Anyway, here’s the spiel:
“Transit service cuts, fare hikes and layoffs affect millions of Americans every day. You can help save transit and counteract the nation-wide transit crisis by rallying with the Save Our Ride alliance.
Save Our Ride was formed by the Transport Workers Union, Amalgamated Transit Union and Reverend Jesse Jackson to raise awareness of the transit crisis and to rally for the passage of transit bills that will allow flexibility of federal aid for transit. The alliance is an advocate for more affordable and efficient transit systems, better air quality and a greener future for America.
You can download the full press release here.
Come show your support:
June 29, San Francisco: Noon, Federal Building on Golden Gate Bridge
July 1, Sacramento: Noon, Federal Building, 501 I street
July 7, Houston: 11 am, Mickey Leland Federal Building, 1919 Smith Street
July 9, Miami: 2 pm, Government Center Building
Download the San Francisco flyer here.
Speakers to include: James C. Little, President International TWU; Harry Lombardo, TWU Executive Vice President; Warren George, President of International ATU; Reverend Jesse Jackson, Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Other speakers will include TWU and ATU local leadership, legislators, community and civil rights groups, riders who are suffering from service cuts and increased fares. (speakers subject to change)
Stay tuned to twu.org and ourride.org for speaker announcements and more information as the rallies approach.
The reason your fares have increased and your service has been cut is because the federal government has neglected transit for decades and the country’s on-going economic struggle that has slashed transit revenues has pushed transportation systems into their own crises.
“We can not allow our transit systems to crumble from financial neglect,” said President James C. Little. “We must work together to tell the federal government the neglect must stop.”
Federal subsidies to our country’s largest transportation systems do not allow enough flexibility for operating costs. So transit systems can use federal funds to buy news trains and buses (capital expenses), but not to pay the operators. If your bus doesn’t have an operator, you are not going to get to work on time.
Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-MO), and Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), have proposed bills, H.R.2746and S3189, that would allow transit agencies to flex funding to suit local needs. Also, eight senators from the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee introduced a bill, S. 3412, to authorize emergency funding for transit agencies to help reverse fare increases and service cuts.
This legislation will help to save our transit systems, provide thousands of green transit jobs, and keep transportation affordable. If you take the bus, train, subway or streetcar to work and use public transportation to send your children to school and if you want to work towards a cleaner environment, less congested streets and green jobs, then come share your story and your voice and Save Our Ride!