TRANSIT FOR ALL! November 14 - 18
TAKE ACTION for an affordable, accessible, reliable and environmentally sound transit system.
TELL TransLink that 3 fare increases in 5 years is unacceptable.
STAND UP for Social Justice and Public Health in our region.
The Bus Riders Union (BRU), a grassroots organization of transit-dependent bus riders with over 800 members throughout the Lower Mainland, has called for a one week fare strike from November 14 - 18. "TransLink needs to lower the fares, buy new buses and increase service now!" says BRU organizer Zailda Chan. "TransLink is spending billions of dollars on privatized mega-projects like the R.A.V. line money that should be spent on meeting the needs of transit dependent communities. The impact of high fares and privatization is to redistribute resources away from low-income transit dependent people - disproportionately women, people of colour and Aboriginal people - and into the pockets of regional and national business. The fare hikes have not resulted in better service for transit dependent communities who are suffering from high fares, long-waits, and chronically overcrowded and unsafe buses."
The week long fare strike takes place in the lead up to municipal elections on Saturday, November 19 when TransLink directors will be seeking re-election as Mayors and Councillors in municipalities throughout the region.
"We're calling this fare strike to demand that TransLink meet their responsibility to provide affordable, reliable and environmentally sound public transit for our region," says BRU organizer Beth Grayer. "We are demanding more buses and lower fares to meet the basic needs of transit-dependent communities. We are demanding that TransLink deal with the real safety concerns of bus riders; overcrowding, long-waits and inadequate service. We are demanding an end to the criminalization, racial profiling and harassment of bus riders and that TransLink disband the 'armed and dangerous' Skytrain police."
"We use civil disobedience because the voices of transit-dependent bus riders have been so consistently ignored by TransLink," says Chan. "As poor people, as women, as people of colour, we know that the system doesn't work for us. But collectively we have the power to make change, by refusing to be ignored and by standing up and fighting for our rights." An estimated 5,000 people participated in a one day Fare Strike organized by the Bus Riders Union on January 14, 2005. In the week of November 14 -18 BRU members and supporters will be organizing bus riders to get on the buses without paying or showing passes.
Please contact the BRU Office (604 215 2775) for more information about the Fare Strike or if you're interested in becoming a Fare Strike organizer.
Endorse the BRU demand for lower fares now!
Are you part of a union, community group or faith community?
Please endorse our campaign for lower fares now!
We already have endorsements from over 10 community groups and unions, which collectively represent over 100,000 people in this region! Add your organizations' voice to the struggle! Email or mail us your endorsement of this campaign statement.
Call Zailda at the BRU (604-215-2775) for more information.
Lower the Fares Now: For Community Health and Social Justice
The Bus Riders Union is pleased to announce the launch of our new Campaign: Lower the Fares Now! For Community Health and Social Justice. The campaign will be launched at a Public Meeting on Saturday, April 30th, from 2 – 4 PM at the Vancouver Public Library. We will be working to build enough grassroots community action and pressure to force TransLink to lower the fare back to the pre-January 2005 fare hike level, by the end of the year. We will also organize to keep up pressure on TransLink to buy more buses to meet the needs of transit dependent communities, to make all buses in the region accessible, and to implement a clean air strategy based on a major increase in Trolley and low-emissions buses.
TransLink’s Priorities: Good for big business, bad for bus riders
TransLink’s decision to raise the fares yet again at the beginning of the year and to triple the fine for "fare violations" to $150 is a clear attack on the right of low-income communities to mobility. Transit-dependent people, who are majority women and disproportionately people of colour and Aboriginal people, are being driven deeper into poverty by TransLink’s neoliberal policies which prioritize the profits of big corporations like SNC-Lavalin over the human rights of bus riders to mobility, dignity and health. Over the next decade SNC-Lavalin will make millions off the privatization of our public transit system while bus riders face rising fares, increased criminalization, and cuts to vital bus routes in order to pay for the RAV line.
The Health of Our Communities Depends on Accessible Public Transit
As clearly documented in the BRU's 2004 Women in Transit report, access to public transit is an important determinant of health for low-income communities and for transit-dependent women in particular. Access to transit shapes transit-dependent women’s ability to access health care, child care, family, employment, social networks and cultural, religious & community events. The Lower the Fares Now! campaign is a grassroots campaign for public health. When we call on TransLink to fulfil its responsibility to promote public health and by demanding more buses, lower fares, accessibility, and a clean air strategy we are calling for health for our communities.
Building a Grassroots Campaign for Public Health and Social Justice
The alternative to TransLink’s continued privatization, corporatization and dismantlement of our public transit system is a movement of bus riders organized and mobilized enough to force TransLink to make social justice and public health the top priorities. With over 600 members, thousands of supporters, and a four year track record of organizing, educating and mobilizing for social justice, the Bus Riders Union is working to build a movement that can challenge the neoliberal agenda represented by TransLink and win concrete gains for our communities. Please join us as we launch our new campaign and enter a hot summer of organizing and action.
Women in Transit Document now online!
Go to WIT Report now!