LOS ANGELES — On July 1, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans to raise fares for working people by 20%. They will also cut 388,000 hours of bus service. Five members of the Bus Riders Union have been on a hunger strike for eight days in protest of these fare hikes and service cuts.
The result of these fare hikes will force people to make impossible choices between feeding their children, putting clothes on their backs, paying rent, going to the doctor or paying their bus fare to get to work.
Alongside 700 Los Angeles City employees losing their job, utility rates and rents going up, and threats to eliminate CalWorks, a raise in MTA fare are clear attacks to primarily Black and Latino families, who make up the majority of riders, as reported by the Bus Riders Union.
As MTA claims to be broke, the board is aggressively pushing a multi-billion dollar plan to build freeways and rail. MTA is asking Washington for an $8 billion loan for these projects, but can’t find asking $25 million to avoid a fare increase that will punish bus riders.
Here is one member’s account of their recent action at the board meeting.