WHAT IS TRANSIT RACISM?
Translink does not respect our time, our comfort, or our safety
• Our buses are infrequent and overcrowded, so we’re left waiting in the heat and the cold, squeezed onto packed buses, and often late for work and school.
• Our fare money goes into electronic fare boxes so that riders are monitored and accused of “fare evasion,” making those who can’t pay criminals.
• The Skytrain police conduct “random” fare checks, targeting people of colour, especially youth.
• The Buzzer, fare information and schedules are posted in English only, but many bus riders don’t read English.
• Diesel buses run through working class neighbourhoods and marginalized communities, polluting our air and hurting our health, especially the health of our children.
WHY DOES THE BRU CALL THIS TRANSIT RACISM?
The Bus Riders Union knows from our experiences of organizing on the bus that the majority of bus riders are people of colour, anywhere from 60 to 90 percent depending on the route. When TransLink makes decisions that prioritize the interests of business men over those of bus riders, they violate the right to mobility of a group that is largely people of colour, an example of systemic racism.
Other examples of systemic racism are the BC government’s racist treaty referendum that sought to steal even more First Nations Land; immigration policies like the Live-In-Caregiver Program that use skilled migrant women as cheap labour under horrible working conditions.
NIGHT OWL BUSES: END THE CURFEW NOW!
In October 2001, TransLink cut $5 million from bus service, including the night owl buses, buses that used to run after 1:30am. The night owl buses were well-used by night workers, janitorial staff, service workers in the bars and restaurants, as well as people going out for fun. The vast majority of night-shift workers are people of colour, people from immigrant and migrant communities who are forced into jobs with poor working conditions and low wages. Many rely on transit as their only way to get to work and home.
Since TransLink cut the night owl buses, many of these workers are forced to wait downtown for the early morning buses, extending their work day by several hours; or they spend a large portion of their pay checks on taxis. Many simply lost their jobs, reducing the number of jobs available to these workers and communities.
The fight for Night Owl Buses is a fight against transit racism.
End Transit Racism!
Night Owl Buses: End the Curfew NOW!
BILLIONS FOR BUSES: BUSES BEFORE SKYTRAIN - PEOPLE BEFORE PROFITS
While TransLink raises fares and cuts bus service, they are pouring money into expensive projects that serve the private interests of business men and contractors. The Richmond/Airport/Vancouver Rapid Transit Project, or the SkyTrain to Richmond, is the latest example. Eighty percent of transit users use only the bus system. In 2001, TransLink cut $5 million from bus service, but they are spending $2 billion on the SkyTrain to Richmond, sucking even more money out of the bus system and pushing bus fares sky-high.
The high cost and worse bus service means that bus riders won’t be able to access social services and to participate in the social, economic, political, and cultural life of the city.
Buses before Skytrain! People before Profits!