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AC Transit riders seek pledge of no more service cuts

By dcuff
Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 at 4:45 pm in AC Transit.

Some AC Transit bus riders plan to march to the transit system’s board meeting tonight in downtown Oakland to demand a moratorium on further service cuts. The group will gather at 5:30 p.m. at Broadway and 14th Street, and then march to the transit board meeting at 6 p.m. at 1600 Franklin Street. The march and rally are organized by several groups, including the new Bus Riders Organization, created by the Alliance of Californians for CommunityEmpowerment. Other groups include Urban Habitat, Genesis, and Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency.

In a press release, the members of the groups said they want a three-year moratorium on service cuts, a new bus transfer policy that allows unlimited transfers for four hours, and a free eco pass for youths. Currents bus transfers are limited to a single use and last two hours, the group said.

In their defense, AC Transit board members have said they were forced to cut bus service twice this year because of cutbacks in state money and reductions in sales tax revenues during the poor economy.

Alia Phelps, an AC Transit bus rider, said the board isn’t doing enough. “AC Transit needs to stop trying to pit riders and drivers against each other, and demand a fair share for bus operations from county, regional, and national transportation funding,” said Phelps, a leader in the new bus riders union.

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