Los Angeles, CA — The Bus Riders Union (BRU) last Friday launched a series of actions designed to urge the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to use some of the $700 million the agency is expected to receive in federal stimulus funds as well as proceeds from voter-approved Measure R to expand the bus fleet, reduce the 2007 fare increases and to develop a county-wide bus-only project.

The action comes in the wake of the release of a report by MTA on what the agency plans to do with the 20% of the Measure R money allocated to improving the bus system.

BRU organizer Esperanza Martinez said the advocacy group is concerned about the reports on a number of fronts.

“We saw the report . . . and it’s a very vague and noncommittal plan that will ultimately result in a raidable pot of money,” explained Martinez, who also noted that the report is also a file and receive.

Martinez added that when Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa originally requested the report, he asked for information on what people want, but this report does not include public input, alleges BRU.
Consequently, the group is staging a series of street actions, featuring comments from transit-dependent residents on what they want.