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Getting on the bus is half the story

Submitted by Reporter on Wed, 11/30/2005 - 10:00pm
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.

From the Director's Desk

Fifty years after the Montgomery Bus Boycott, transportation equity is still a crucial issue for communities of color across the country. While legal segregation of public transportation is a thing of the past, one only has to step onto any urban bus system to see that racial inequality is alive and well in the United States. The passing of Rosa Parks, a pioneer of transportation justice, reminds us of the distance we have traveled, and is a fitting occasion for a rededication to undertaking the hard journey toward justice.

Since Urban Habitat’s founding in 1989, transportation justice has been a driving force behind our mission to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the San Francisco Bay Area. The region’s transportation system is the lifeline that connects people to their jobs, homes, schools, childcare, and other essential services. When broken, entire communities are denied access to the fundamental resources and opportunities that they need to survive. In all too many of our communities, poor access to transportation is the norm.


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