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A little background, please

By enelson
Thursday, May 25th, 2006 at 11:50 am in AC Transit, BART, Buses, Caltrain, transit equity.

In response to my story about Alameda County Supervisors resolving that AC Transit wasn’t getting its fair share of funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which favored capital-intensive rail services BART and Caltrain favored by richer and whiter riders, I received this e-mail:

To Mr. Nelson,

The Alameda Supervisors (Keith) Carson, (Alice) Lai-Bitker and (Gail) Steele deserve a lot
of credit. On Monday, they adopted a resolution calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to give AC Transit its fair share of public funds. (“Supervisors say bus service is shortchanged,” May 24.) The County now joins over 30 elected officials in the East
Bay-including the city councils of Oakland, Richmond and Berkeley-in calling for equity for low-income bus riders.

It was not surprising that Sup. Scott Haggerty was the only one to vote “no” on Board President Keith Carson’s resolution. As an MTC Commissioner, Mr. Haggerty’s “no” vote two months ago helped kill a motion by Tom Ammiano to adopt a set of four Equity Principles proposed by MTC’s minority advisory committee. Commissioner Haggerty refused to commit MTC to changing its priorities in order to root out inequities in how it distributes over $1 billion a year for Bay Area transportation.

On Monday, Haggerty also showed a disturbing inability to treat bus riders with respect. Instead of listening to their legitimate grievances with MTC, he berated them. He also repeatedly tried to shift the blame to AC Transit’s board. But AC Transit can only run as much service as MTC funds it to run.

Janny Castillo, Community Organizer
Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency

Assuming all of that is correct, it gives a couple of extra twists to an already fascinating story. I’m hoping to elaborate on this later, after consulting with The Man.

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