Apr 10 2020

AC Transit Transports Essential Workers and Institutes Driver Protections From COVID 19

AC Transit Bus Rides Are Free!

To minimize interaction with bus drivers, AC Transit requires bus riders to use the back door to access the bus. There is no fare collection.

Public transit is a pillar of a fully functional public health care system. It is critical in our fight against COVID-19 and to long-term recovery efforts. We rely on our essential workers to hold up our fragile society and economy, to keep our country well-resourced, connected, and safe, and many of these essential workers are low-income, transit-dependent, and don’t have the luxury of working from home. This also has huge racial equity implications: Asian-American and African-American workers commute by public transit at four times the rate of White workers, while Latino workers rely on public transit at three times the White rate. If public transit fails, we will all fail because vital workers won’t be able to perform their duties.

We applaud public transit agencies that have dutifully kept their buses and trains running to ensure that transit-dependent essential workers can still get to their jobs to keep us all safe and healthy.  Some California transit agencies, such as the Bay Area’s AC Transit and the Valley Transportation Authority, are already offering free fares and requiring back door boarding to protect drivers’ health. Yet, the ability for public transit agencies to sustain this level of service without additional funding looks grim.

With ridership significantly down, this loss of fares is further squeezing the already tight budgets of public transit agencies.        Hana CregerApril 10, 2020Greenlining,org

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