Monday, February 14, 2011

We Start our Campaign!

As of now, all I'm gonna do is copypasta the press release and maybe blog later. Totally excited though- Thanks!


February 14th, 2011
Contact: Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Co-Director
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon
(503) 512-0490 / /

Bus Riders Call on TriMet General Manager and Board to
Extend Transfer Time to 3 Hours

Portland, OR. On February 21st, 2011, OPAL’s Bus Riders Unite! Leadership Team, representing transit-dependent riders and communities, will formally kick-off the Campaign for a Fair Transfer. The current transfer time for both bus (one hour from the end of the route) and MAX (two hours from fare purchase) is insufficient and inadequate to meet basic needs of transit-dependent workers and families. Bus Riders Unite! calls upon TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane, TriMet Board President Rick Van Beveran and the other TriMet Board Members to approve a policy change to extend all daytime transfers to 3 hours and through the end of evening service for all boardings after 7:00 PM.

Extending the transfer time will increase TriMet’s farebox revenue by further encouraging ridership, particularly during off-peak hours when underemployed families and evening workers depend on transit the most. On the heels of the 10th TriMet fare increase in 10 years and the elimination of over 170,000 hours of basic service in the past two years, Bus Riders Unite! campaign continues to draw attention to the disproportionate impacts borne by transit-dependent riders from our most underrepresented and vulnerable communities: low-income people, people of color, those with disabilities and limited-mobility, and both our youth and senior riders. Bus Riders Unite! demands an affordable, reliable and accessible public transportation system that works for all riders in the Portland region, which is true sustainability.

WHAT: Campaign for a Fair Transfer Kickoff
WHEN: Monday, February 21st 6:00-7:00 PM
WHERE: St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church 1131 SE Oak (Bus #70)
WHY: OPAL’s Bus Riders Unite! members call on TriMet for an extended transfer time of 3 hours for all daily boardings and through the end of service for boardings after 7:00 PM.

“10 fare increases in 10 years have put bus passes out of reach for many individuals and families experiencing poverty or underemployment, including many riders from communities of color. More and more of our community members who rely on public transportation are forced to purchase single-fare tickets and rely on transfers to to get to work, school, the doctor, the grocery store. TriMet policy needs to support its riders to be able to meet their basic needs.”
- Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, OPAL Co-Director.

“With increased headways – longer waiting times between buses – and more overcrowded buses, service is less reliable and bus riders struggle to meet their basic needs, having to purchase additional single-trip fares at greater expense for less service.”
- Teresa Soto de Roman, OPAL Bus Riders Unite! Leadership Team member.

“The current TriMet transfer policy is both confusing and arbitrary, allowing for unequal transfers for bus riders and MAX riders – bus riders get just one hour on weekdays from the end of their trip as determined by the bus driver, while MAX riders get two hours from purchase.” - Jonathan Ostar, OPAL Co-Director and Staff Attorney.

OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is a 501(c)(3) community-based organization working to empower low-income communities and communities of color through direct action and grassroots organizing. By developing leadership from within communities most impacted by local environmental and socioeconomic decision-making, OPAL works to promote environmental and social justice and sustainable, healthy communities. OPAL also co-chairs and facilitates the Transportation and Health Equity Network, comprised of regional partners working on issues of transportation and health equity.

Campaign for a Fair Transfer Endorsements (as of 2/14):
Portland Jobs with Justice, Portland Youth and Elders Council, Urban League of Portland, ROSE Community Development, Verde, VOZ Workers Rights, Upstream Public Health, Center for Intercultural Organizing, Josiah Hill III Clinic, Central City Neighborhood Association (Gresham), Alliance for Democracy.

Related Web Sources
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon Website
PolicyLink, The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Healthy, Equitable Transportation Reform
Final 2010 TriMet Service Cuts
Transit Riders for Public Transportation
Transportation for America
More Transit = More Jobs, Sept 2 Report of Transportation Equity Network