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by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC)
Saturday, May. 26, 2007 at 8:43 AM
email@example.com 213-241-0906 1610 Bverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Last May 24, scores of Filipinos belonging to the Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) and People’s CORE from Historic Filipinotown came to the MTA headquarters at the Union Station s to protest the proposed 200% MTA bus fare hike. They were in solidarity with the Bus Riders Union (BRU) and the hundreds of Angelinos who expressed their outrage over the bus fare increase.
EPCC Joins Bus Riders Protest against Racist MTA Bus Fare Hike; How About Our Iraq Money?
Los Angeles – Last May 24, scores of Filipinos belonging to the Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) and People’s CORE from Historic Filipinotown came to the MTA headquarters at the Union Station s to protest the proposed 200% MTA bus fare hike. They were in solidarity with the Bus Riders Union (BRU) and the hundreds of Angelinos who expressed their outrage over the bus fare increase.
At least 350 bus riders spoke against the atrocious MTA bus fare hike but in the end the 13- person MTA Boards decided to increase the bus fare by 72% over four years period or an incremental increase of 25% per year. This for the MTA, what their democracy looked like!
EPCC Chair, Arturo P. Garcia, who spoke in Pilipino and English at the hearing, expressed the Filipino community opposition to the bus fare increase:
“More than 40% of Historic Filipino town residents are bus riders. At least 60% of them are immigrants, World War II veterans, seniors and disabled. This bus fare increase is a big burden for them. What we need are more busses not expensive rail lines and no fare increase. We oppose any bus fare increase. WE SAY NO TO ANY BUS FARE HIKE!”
Hundreds of bus riders filled the MTA cafeteria and adjoining function rooms because only 400 people were allowed to the hearing room that was packed to the brims. Hundreds still filled the MTA lobby chanting, clapping and shouting slogans against unjust bus fare hike.
Supervisor Gloria Molina and Zev Yarorlevsky led the MTA assault against the people by passing the burden of the MTA $ 14 B deficit to the bus riders. Mayor Antonio Villaraigoisa filed his own proposal of 10% increase per year to no avail
Supervisor Burke who supported Molina’s proposal at least had the candor to accept “that the MTA was wrong in focusing on expensive rail projects” but still voted to pass the racist MTA proposal against her fellow minorities and against her constituents. In the end the people were given a no choice; the fare increase or their food or rent.
An 87 year old lady named Ester, summed up the disgust of the bus riders during the hearing:” What did I do to you to deserve this? Why are you doing this to me?” Other speakers asked: “How about our Iraq money? No money for bus fares, new buses but there is money in Iraq and for the war!”
In the end, the MTA did not hear anything and increased the bus fare. But they are always wrong; the people will remember their decisions to come.
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