Everyone on the Bus: Rider-Driver Alliances
Date Written: 2014-09-30
Publisher: Labor Notes
Year Published: 2014
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20482
Kann sheds light on the increasingly desperate state of transit in Detroit as number and frequency of buses and entire routes are experiencing increasing cuts and riders join in a union with drivers to protest these affairs.
Local transit workers in Washington, D.C., are alert to a horrible new possibility: a private takeover.
The chair of the city council's Transportation and the Environment Committee is pushing a bill that would allow the city to outsource its existing public transit. "The potential for cuts is greater when we have a private operator whose motive is profit, not people," said Local 689's David Stephens.
This isn't the first time privatization has been attempted in Washington. Until the mid-1950s, transit there was owned by the private Capital Transit Company, which ran service into the ground.
Senators accused the company's manager of following "a policy of 'profits first and the public be damned.''' Low wages and repeated fare increases led the local to strike, and eventually pushed the government to take control of the transit system.
Now the local is working with the Washington Interfaith Network to preempt a fight against cuts by blocking the privatization that could produce them.