May 20th DC Rally to Highlight Rallies, Elected Official Bus Ride-Alongs, & Leafleting across U.S. & Canada in May
Washington, DC (May 1) – Today kicks off National Transit Month, an unprecedented effort of tens of thousands of transit workers and advocates mobilizing across North America to engage millions of riders to join in support of more, better, and safer public transit. Riders will be encouraged to contact elected officials and demand increased funding for public transit.
“We want our riders to know we stand with them in the fight for more, better and safer public transit and together we can ensure that our voices are heard,” says Larry Hanley, international president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU). “With our exploding urban populations, worsening traffic jams, young people forgoing cars, transit ridership at record levels and stressed public transit systems, we need a major urban agenda and investment to address the growing demand for public transit.”
Throughout Transit Action Month, transit workers and transit supporters across the U.S. and Canada will hold rallies and events such as “Transit Tuesday” to leaflet and educate riders at bus depots and train stations, and coordinate “ride-alongs” with members of the Congress, Parliament and with other elected officials and candidates who support more investment in public transit.
On May 20th, thousands of transit workers, riders, transportation advocates, public officials and others are joining in Washington, D.C for a rally and to lobby on Capitol.
“We’re going to march on Capitol Hill and press legislators to increase investment in public transportation to cut pollution, relieve gridlock and create jobs,” says Hanley.
Sierra Club, one of the international organizations supporting Transit Action Month will partner with ATU locals throughout May to urge people to make public transit part of their everyday commitment to protecting the environment and fighting pollution.
Public transit provides reliable mobility for everyone and benefits communities in many ways. It creates good jobs and delivers customers to businesses. For every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 in economic returns is generated. It helps fight pollution and traffic. More people riding buses mean fewer cars on the road and less emissions.
“Riders are our natural allies — we get them to their job by doing our job. Mobilizing our passengers builds the power of our members and empowers our riders to demand that politicians stand up for them by standing in support of transit,” says Hanley.
The Amalgamated Transit Union is the largest labor organization representing transit workers in the United States and Canada. Founded in 1892, the ATU today is comprised of over 190,000 members in 253 local unions spread across 47 states and nine provinces, including 3,000 workers at Greyhound Lines, Inc. Composed of bus drivers, light rail operators, maintenance and clerical personnel and other transit and municipal employees, the ATU works to promote transit issues and fights for the interests of its hard-working members.