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Archive for the 'transit equity' Category

AC Transit and the reverse commute thing

Wow. I had no idea how incredibly Byzantine our transportation funding system could be until I had a sit-down with Randy “The Man” Rentschler at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

You know that federal program that was supposed to fund reverse commuting? Well, a reverse commute is what lower-income folks often do to get to service-oriented jobs in the suburbs.

It all goes back to that nagging equity issue, over which a group of bus-rider advocates is suing the MTC in federal court.

AC Transit wins.bmp
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Posted on Wednesday, May 31st, 2006
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Funding, transit equity | No Comments »

The Man responds

Thanks to Janny Castillo of BOSS (spelled out in previous entry), we now have some historical perspective from which to view the recent vote 3-1 vote by the Alameda County Board of Supervisors urging the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to provide equitable funding to transit for low-income and minority riders (i.e., buses) and better-off and whiter riders (rail).

And thanks to MTC spokesman Randy Rentschler, we now have another side of a many-faceted gem of an issue.

It’s not that the MTC, or for that matter commissioner and Alameda Supervisor Scott Haggerty, don’t agree with the principle of equal treatment of all forms of transportation. It’s the lawsuits that force them into an adversarial stance when it comes to adopting principles such as those set down by the county supes.
Bus-rail justice.bmp
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Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2006
Under: BART, Buses, Caltrain, transit equity | 2 Comments »

A little background, please

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, May 25th, 2006
Under: AC Transit, BART, Buses, Caltrain, transit equity | No Comments »

rubber revolution

At the Alameda County Board of Supervisors today, I was treated to one of the many movements that makes transportation reporting so interesting.

Somewhere between the New York City subway and the Bay Bridge, buses became the symbol of socioeconomic stratification. Buses are for poor people of color. Trains are for higher-income whites.

chebus.JPG
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Posted on Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006
Under: AC Transit, BART, Caltrain, transit equity | 4 Comments »