Transit Riders Delegation meets with City Councilmembers

Transit Riders Delegation (Photo by Doug Nielson)

Transit Riders Delegation at City Hall (Photo by Doug Nielson)

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On May 20th, the Transit Riders Delegation met with Seattle City Councilmembers Sally Bagshaw, Nick Licata, Mike O’Brien, and Kshama Sawant.

We presented our affordable transit goals & explained how we think the City of Seattle can work with King County and Metro to take a leading role in achieving them.

We also spoke about a number of other Transit Riders Union priorities for improving and expanding public transit. Here’s our letter to the councilmembers: Continue reading

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The Metro Fare

Metro Fare ComicMetro Fare is a weekly comic based on local bus stories. Got a funny Metro experience you’d like to share? Visit metrofarecomic.com to send it in for a ‘toon up.’

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Two Early Endorsements

At our May Membership Meeting, the Transit Riders Union made the following “early endorsements” of incumbent City Councilmembers with whom we have already worked closely:

  • Kshama Sawant for Seattle City Council District 3: Kshama Sawant has fought tirelessly for the interests of working and poor people throughout her first term on the Seattle City Council, and she has gotten results, from raising the minimum wage to increasing funding for homeless services and tent encampments. She has worked closely with grassroots organizations like the Transit Riders Union. Kshama Sawant supported the effort to preserve and expand Metro bus service and, along with Councilmember Nick Licata, led a much-needed push towards more progressive funding for public transit. She is unafraid to take a principled stance and she is also able to compromise when necessary. Re-elect Kshama Sawant for a second term!

  • Mike O’Brien for Seattle City Council District 6: Mike O’Brien has been a progressive voice on the Seattle City Council and a strong proponent of public transit. We are disappointed that he did not vote for the progressive funding amendment to Seattle’s Proposition 1. However, he did take the lead in dedicating city funding to improve transit access for low-income riders, and overall he and his office have been consistently responsive and willing to work with grassroots organizations like the Transit Riders Union. We hope to continue working with Mike O’Brien in his next term on the Seattle City Council.

We will be considering further primary endorsements at our next Membership Meeting on June 1. Want to have a say? Now’s the time to join the Transit Riders Union!

Want to support Kshama Sawant’s re-election campaign, while talking transit? Come to a Transit Supporters for Sawant House Party Fundraiser on Friday, May 15! 1642 South Lane Street, Seattle, WA 98144.

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Join us on May 20th: Transit Riders Delegation meeting with Seattle City Councilmembers

Climate change. Gridlock. Rents rising and not enough money left over for bus fare. Seattle is growing fast and becoming a world-class city. Where’s our world-class transit system?

In April, the Transit Riders Delegation met with County Councilmembers to present our vision of a public transit system that’s affordable for all.

Now you’re invited to join us on Wednesday, May 20 as we meet with Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Mike O’Brien, Nick Licata, and Sally Bagshaw:

Transit Riders Delegation Meeting with City Councilmembers
Wednesday, May 20
12:30 – 1:30 PM
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room
600 4th Avenue, Seattle 98104

RSVP by signing a Delegate Pledge and we will keep you in the loop! You can also tell us you’re coming on Facebook here.

Half of Washington State’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation fuels. If we’re going to stop climate change, we need to build a public transit system that gives everyone a viable alternative to driving. At the same time, our city and region are becoming less and less affordable for low- and even middle-income residents. San Francisco recently started a free bus pass program for low- and moderate-income youth, senior and disabled riders. We can do the same here! Do you believe in a public transit system that is accessible and affordable for all? So do we. Let’s organize to expand public transit and lower fares!

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Photos from the Delegation for Affordable Transit!

So, maybe you didn’t make it out to the Transit Riders Delegation’s meetings with County Councilmembers on April 22 and 27. Lucky for you, we have photos! Check out these pics from April 22 and make sure to join our Delegation at meetings with City Councilmembers coming up in late May. RSVP here so we can keep you in the loop.

Delegates arrive and sign in at the park outside

Delegates arrive and sign in at the park outside the King County Courthouse. It’s a beautiful day! (Photo by Yasmin Elbaradie)

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Transit Riders Union members and delegates wait till it’s time to enter the courthouse… (Photo courtesy of Undrgrnd Productions)

"One Voice, One Fight, Transit is a Human Right!"

“One Voice, One Fight, Transit is a Human Right!”  We know why we’re here, and with some energetic chanting we let passers-by know too  (Photo courtesy of Undrgrnd Productions)

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The Transit Riders Delegation for affordable transit fills the council chambers, and delegates rise to speak from the podiums.  (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan King County Council)

 

The Councilmembers listen to a delegate testifying to the need for lower transit fares.

Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Larry Gossett and Joe McDermott listen as twenty-five delegates testify to the need for lower fares to make public transit affordable for all. (Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan King County Council)

 

After the meeting, many delegates regroup outside. (Photo courtesy of Yasmin Elbaradie)

After the meeting, many delegates regroup outside for a debriefing and announcements of upcoming events. (Photo courtesy of Yasmin Elbaradie)

 

Our work is far from over, but we've taken the first big step in our campaign to make public transit affordable for all. (Photo courtesy of Seattle Commute 2014)

Our work is far from over, but we’ve taken the first big step in our campaign to make public transit affordable for all. (Photo courtesy of Undrgrnd Productions)

Don’t miss the next steps in the campaign! Sign up to join the Delegation here.

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The Transit Riders Delegation Speaks!

At last, the Transit Riders Delegation is on the move!  On Wednesday, April 22, we met for the first time with King County Councilmembers Larry Gossett, Joe McDermott and Rod Dembowski. Transit riders filled the council chambers, and twenty-five delegates – students, workers, seniors, parents, people with disabilities, teachers, clergy, service providers – spoke passionately about the need to lower bus fares and make public transit affordable for all.

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Then, on April 27, our Delegation met with Council Chair Larry Phillips and a representative from the office of Councilmember Dave Upthegrove to deliver the same message.

Take a look at the photos from April 22 in the post above, and also the report we presented to the Councilmembers detailing our affordable transit goals.

We’re rolling, but our work is just beginning! Sign up to join the Delegation here and we will keep you in the loop about upcoming meeting with Seattle City Councilmembers.

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Join the Delegation for Affordable Transit!

Organizing works! The Transit Riders Union along with a strong coalition of organizations and individuals campaigned for a low income fare, and we won! (How do you apply? Find out here.)

This is a great first step, but we’re still a long ways from affordable public transit for all. Bus fares went up yet again on March 1 – now King County Metro is second only to New York City for the highest basic adult fare in the nation. Senior and disabled riders saw their monthly pass cost jump from $27 to $36, and a monthly pass for youth now costs $54.

image_Rising Cost of Riding the Bus

In fact, the real cost of riding the bus has been rising ever since Metro was founded in 1973! Repeated fare increases are another way of pushing the cost of public transit onto working and poor people, rather than working to change our state’s regressive tax system. So, the Transit Riders Union is continuing to organize and push for affordable public transit for all. Join our Delegation!

Here are some of the things we’re asking for:

Continue reading

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