Bay Area Region

End funding discrimination in public transit

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

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.

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