TriMet will hit riders with the most-sweeping fare changes in the agency’s 43-year history.
who now purchase a $2.10 one-zone ticket to ride, for example, will
have to pay 40 cents more as part of its balance-budgeting
So, what better way to protest than stage a gold old-fashioned transit funeral in the public square?
On Thursday, the riders union Bus Riders Unite, organized by the nonprofit OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon,
will “mourn the loss of affordable fares and further cuts to bus
service” with a New Orleans-style funeral in Portland’s Pioneer
“These changes disproportionately impact low
income riders and people of color,” said OPAL organizer Hector Osuna, “
and will result in fewer people using public transportation in our
The event will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. to not only
protest fare increases but service cuts and the elimination of the free
rail zone in downtown.
“TriMet’s speculative justifications for
these dramatic changes have failed to materialize,” Osuna said. “The
agency has won the fight with their drivers over health care, and the
federal government approved a transportation bill that does not reduce
funding available to the agency.”
September’s fare increases will be the 11th for TriMet in 10 years.
further cuts to bus service, according to OPAL, “are both unnecessary
and unjust, hurting those who rely on public transit the most -- such as
low income families and people of color.”
The group said TriMet
fails to understand the needs of transit riders, including providing
consistent, accessible service to job opportunities and critical
Given The Oregonian's investigation into how often the TrMet board actually rides its trains and buses (hardly ever), such out-of-touch accusations aren't too hard to believe.
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