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News about the EJ movement, environmental issues and relevant political devlopments

MTC Denies Free Youth Pass, the Fight for Free Muni for Youth Continues

Free MUNI for Youth at MTC. July 25 ©2012 Urban Habitat“Ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around"

Hard work and heartfelt testimony by young people and their allies broadened support for Free Muni for Youth among the members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)—but MTC still wasn’t ready to fund a project that mainly benefits low-income youth and youth of color. The Commission rejected a proposal to allocate $4 million to the Free Youth Pass pilot program by a vote of 8 to 7 at its July 25 meeting. Commissioners from San Francisco, the Peninsula and the South Bay backed the program, while East Bay and North Bay representatives opposed it.

Youth from POWER (People Organized to Win Employment Rights) responded to the vote with an unscheduled public comment, filling the room with chants of “Spread the word, spread the truth/Free Muni for all our youth!” and “We’ll be back!” before leaving the building.

Around 70 youth and supporters from all over the Bay Area attended the Wednesday morning MTC meeting. On the steps outside the agency’s headquarters after the vote, San Francisco Supervisor David Campos put the events in perspective.

Transit Riders for Public Transportation Calls on President Obama to Reject Transportation Bill

Submitted by News Desk on Fri, 07/06/2012 - 4:33pm

On the eve of President Obama signing the Federal Surface Transportation Act, the Transit Riders for Public Transportation (TRPT) denounces the new bill and calls on the President to affirm his administration's commitment to environmental justice and transit riders by rejecting this bill. Known as the "highway bill," this legislation threatens public health and the environment in communities of color and systemically blocks transit riders from benefiting from the majority of this federal funding. This new version unfortunately perpetuates the 80/20 split in funding (80% for road infrastructure and 20% for mass transit) and fails to allow transit agencies the flexibility to use those limited dollars to maintain service, despite desperate need. At the same time, this bill blatantly guts the National Environmental Policy Act, which offers the only meaningful opportunity for communities to have a voice in major capital construction projects that will directly impact their lives.

S.F. agency OKs free Muni for low-income kids

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/25/2012 - 11:10am
Low-income youths could soon ride San Francisco's Muni for free, while drivers who park in the city on Sundays might have to pay up.

Those controversial proposals were approved Tuesday by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Board of Directors, which unanimously passed the budget for Muni, parking, traffic and taxis over the next two years.

Yet for those programs to become reality, the budget still has to clear several hurdles that include gaining the Board of Supervisors' approval.

Overall, the budget calls for spending $821 million in the new fiscal year that begins July 1, and $840.5 million the following year. That plan is projected to close deficits of $19.6 million and $33.6 million, respectively.

Free Muni for all youths

Submitted by News Desk on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 10:56am

Big yellow school buses are disappearing as the San Francisco Unified School District reduces the number of buses and routes to contend with education budget cuts. As a result, more and more families must shoulder the cost of transporting their children to school. Recent Municipal Transportation Agency board meetings have seen an outpouring of support from political leaders, community organizations and residents testifying in support of free Muni fares for all young people.


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