February 8th, 2018 (not: Transit Equity Day was February 5th)
Happy Transit Equity Day, all! We’re celebrating Rosa Parks’ birthday with a reminder that transit is a human and civil right, that transit workers deserve fair wages, benefits and a union, and that public transportation is vital to our climate sustainability. Here’s a joint op-ed that came out in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette signed by PPT, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 85 and the Sierra Club:
In honor of Rosa Parks Day, a group of organizations including the Amalgamated Transit Union, the Labor Network for Sustainability, Jobs with Justice and the Institute for Policy Studies are declaring Transit Equity Day for today, Feb. 5, to take action for civil rights and a climate-safe future.
King expanded the focus of transit rights from the right to ride anywhere in a bus to the right to ride to anywhere you need to go on a bus. We are similarly expanding what is included in transit justice:
• Transportation justice: Every person in every neighborhood regardless of age, race, class, gender or disability should have the right to safe, convenient transportation at an affordable cost.
• Workers justice: The workers who build public transit infrastructure, who operate and maintain the systems and who get us where we need to go have the right to safe, decent working conditions and family-supporting incomes and the right to choose to be represented by a union.
• Community justice: Cars, trucks and other transportation emit a large proportion of our dangerous pollution, causing asthma and many other life-threatening conditions. Replacing cars and trucks with public transit is far healthier for individuals and communities. A just transit system will provide all communities fair access to the jobs and amenities of metropolitan areas.
• Climate justice: The lives and futures of Americans and all people are threatened by devastating climate change. As a U.S. federal court recently declared, all people have a right to a stable climate. That will require a rapid cut in the burning of the fossil fuels that emit the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. And one of the easiest, fastest and cheapest ways to do that is public transit run on clean, renewable energy.
Transit justice, in short, is essential for building a just and climate-safe future”
For more information about Transit Equity Day, check out this Facebook Page hosted by the Labor Network for Sustainability.