Media Center

Allies In Public Transit

Toronto Transit Commission – Toronto, ON

Mission: TTCriders is a democratic, grassroots organization of transit riders that campaigns for an affordable, world-class public transit system. TTCriders wants more government funding for the TTC, so that riders get better service and lower fares.

Accomplishments: In the 2018 Toronto City budget, TTCriders won 2-hour timed transfers, a fare freeze, and the first phase of a low-income transit pass. The first phase of the “Fair Pass” will provide discounts on single TTC fares and monthly passes for people receiving social assistance. The next phases of the pass, which are not yet funded, will extend discounts to minimum-wage earners. TTCriders has worked with Local 113-Toronto, ON, to mobilize thousands of transit riders, workers and allies to come out to rallies and actions, sign petitions, contact their elected officials, make presentations at City Hall, and canvass other riders.

Clevelanders for Public Transit
GCRTA – Cleveland, OH

Mission: A community-labor coalition dedicated to building power among transit riders to improve the value of fares and to fight for more public transit service and good jobs.

Accomplishments: Clevelanders for Public Transit has sounded the alarm on fare hikes and service cuts, preserved millions of dollars in service hours and fare relief, and reestablished service. CPT continues to fight for fair fares, against layoffs for workers, and for expanding transit service.

Since 2006, fares for RTA have gone up 100%, while service and ridership have only gone down. In response to upcoming fare hikes approved by GCRTA’s board, CPT released its #FairFares platform with recommendations that include fare relief for riders, decriminalization of fares, and local funding sufficient to prevent layoffs, fare hikes, and/or service cuts into 2019. 

In early March, service cuts went into effect, and in response more than 50 members of CPT, Local 268-Cleveland, OH, disability, and other transit allies rallied in Cleveland Public Square to reiterate the call for local transit support.

CPT will move forward with momentum to avert this year’s fare hike and service cuts, and continue to call for a local ballot measure for November 2018.

Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT)
Port Authority of Allegheny County – Pittsburgh, PA

Mission: Defend and Expand Public Transit.

Motto: Bus Lines are Life Lines

Accomplishments: Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grass roots organization of transit riders and workers. Since 2010, we have been working closely with Local 85-Pittsburgh, PA, and more recently Local 1743-Pittsburgh, PA, to defend and expand public transit in Allegheny County, PA.

A multi-year campaign resulted in the passage of ACT 89, ensuring sustainable state support for public transit in the region, and stable funding for public transit funding through 2020. Since then, PPT’s work has focused on building community campaigns to restore service to transit deserts. Many of their campaigns start with bus drivers helping to identify communities that have lost service, often forcing riders to walk 2 or more miles to the nearest bus stop. ATU members and PPT volunteers hit the streets canvassing the community and building a neighborhood committee to fight for their bus. PPT has led 6 successful campaigns resulting in 72 new bus operator jobs and continued bus (i.e., life) lines for thousands.

As Pittsburgh has become a testing ground for autonomous vehicles (AV), PPT and Locals 85 and 1743 have worked together to protect professional drivers and keep the mobility needs of bus riders and paratransit users at the forefront of all transportation decisions.

Bus Riders Unite
The Youth Environmental Justice Alliance, the membership bases of OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon
TriMet – Portland, OR

Mission: Building Power for Environmental Justice and Civil Rights in our Communities

Accomplishments: Bus Riders Unite (BRU) has worked with Local 757-Portland, OR, to fight for more reliable, affordable and accessible public transit for the betterment of their community. 

BRU recently won a $12M low-income fare program from TriMet, amounting to a 72% discount on monthly passes for low-income riders, building on the successful 2015 campaign to win an additional, free half hour of bus transfer time. 

Youth Environmental Justice Alliance (YEJA) won free student transit access for two majority-minority schools in under-served East Portland. 

Through grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and legal challenges, OPAL’s members have changed Federal transportation policy, won massive statewide investments in mass transit, changed regional decision-making processes, and won the creation of TriMet’s Transit Equity Advisory Committee, with a dedicated seat for BRU’s members. 

OPAL centers the leadership of low income people, people of color, women, gender and sexual minorities, and people with disabilities, organizing for transportation justice.