Transportation News Items

End funding discrimination in public transit

Fifty years ago, Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. Public transportation, and more specifically buses, became the stage from which the civil-rights movement was launched. This act of courage is fresh in our minds due to the recent passing of Mrs. Parks. Viewed as a national hero, her body was placed in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol -- the first woman ever accorded such a tribute.

The irony is that today, discrimination is alive and well in mass-transit bus service. In the Bay area, for instance, a federal civil-rights lawsuit is pending in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charging that the Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission -- which plans and allocates funding for the area's transit needs -- supports a "separate and unequal transit system" that discriminates against poor transit riders of color.

Getting on the bus is half the story

When Sylvia Darensburg started riding AC Transit buses from her East Oakland home a quarter-century ago, the fare was 50 cents and the routes linked her to other cities. Now, rides cost $1.50, routes have been shortened or abandoned, and more cuts are in the offing as the system faces shortfalls of $8 million to $10 million a year.

Photo Caption: Rush-hour riders gather at the AC Transit stop at Oakland's Broadway and 14th Street. A lawsuit claims discrimination against riders. Chronicle photo by Michael Macor

Meanwhile, Caltrain and BART and their suburbs-to-city commute lines get far higher public subsidies than AC Transit, the Bay Area's second largest bus system after San Francisco's Municipal Railway.

Pressure builds to save Muni

Widespread frustration with Muni service cuts and fare hikes – passionately expressed by the public on Friday at a San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency meeting that continues tomorrow (Tuesday, March 2, starting at noon in City Hall Room 400) – has prompted a surprisingly diverse backlash.

SR's hybrid bus offers a quiet ride

Retrofitted with electric motor, coach runs on half the gas, reduces emissions 90 percent

April 21, 2008

The only noise heard on Santa Rosa CityBus' hybrid bus is the mechanical whir of an electric motor and the air conditioning.

Transit agency meets on plan to charge fees to drive on San Francisco roads

Mercury News

OAKLAND — East Bay residents are invited to speak out Wednesday night on a plan to charge fees to drive motor vehicles on busy San Francisco roads during rush hours.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority is hosting the workshops on road congestion pricing alternatives from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission auditorium, 101 Eight Street, Oakland.

The transportation authority is considering the driving fees as a way to combat traffic congestion and raise money for transportation improvements.

The proposal would affect many East Bay residents who drive to jobs in San Francisco.