Posts Tagged ‘public transportation’

This form is designed to collect grievance information from the people who ride the bus pertaining to public transportation in the Greater Richmond are The Richmond Transit Riders Union would like folks to share their issues, ideas, complaints, praise, etc.with GRTC’s service in particular. This data will be used to convince city officials that there are better ways to improve the transportation system other than raising the fares and placing the responsibility of funding overwhelmingly on the shoulders of the transit-dependent working class community.

Please put the web address below in your browser in order to fill out the RTRU Grievance Form.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dGZlRU5kTU9ybndTZXp0UjIydXQxV3c6MQ#gid=0

A recent post on the Church Hill People’s News website shows some of the issues that Church Hill faces in regards to accessing affordable, healthy food. Southern Barton Heights, Brookland Park, Battery Park, and Highland Park all face similar challenges as Food Deserts. There are no grocery stores in our neighborhood. There are corner stores which typically have a smaller, less quality, and more expensive selection – in addition to fewer open hours than many grocery stores. The closest grocery store to our neighborhood is the Kroger at Lombardy and Broad. Residents without personal vehicles are forced to either walk, bike, or take the bus. Aside from that they only have access to what the corner stores have to offer.

There are other challenges on the people in low income food deserts. The public transportation system in Richmond, namely the GRTC, has been cutting routes over the past couple years. And last night city council just voted to pass a bus fare hike. Additionally, there are no bike shops in Southern Barton Heights to help people who do ride bikes maintain their equipment.

Food Politics and access to affordable, healthy food are not isolated issues. They are tied into to many issues around class and race. There are reasons why certain areas do not have the access they need. Working with groups like the Richmond Transit Rider’s union can be ways to take a more holistic approach to the problem of food access in our communities. (more…)

The Richmond Transit Riders Union had its first meeting on Monday June 14th. There were about 30 people in attendance- at least 20 of whom had never participated in the organizing of RTRU before. The decision was made to officially form RTRU, and to also get together the following week to plan demands to bring to the City Council meetings later this month.

Some of the ideas for what the demands may look like include:

  • Opposing the fare hike and if the increase is unavoidable—proposing that it be temporary and alternative avenues of public transit funding are pursued.
  • Expanding services to work centers in surrounding counties and developing transit-oriented communities.
  • Opposing reduction of service hours.
  • Proposing day-long and monthly passes.
  • Proposing an improved map system at all stops to encourage new ridership.
  • Proposing a portion of the car tax be allocated to public transportation.
  • Proposing to allocate funding for road maintenance to assist in subsidizing public transportation.
  • Advocate for increased state and federal funding for public transportation.

More on the meeting and how you can get involved can be found at:

http://rvanews.com/news/rrichmond-transit-riders-union-holds-first-meeting/29072

Richmond’s Transit Rider’s Union (RTRU) is up and running, and has the potential to really have a positive impact for many lower and working class people in Richmond. Public transportation is something that many people rely on to get the their jobs, to the grocery store, to school, etc. Neighborhoods like Southern Barton Heights, Highland Park, Battery Park, Brookland Park etc. rely on dependable, useful, and affordable public transportation. The proposed increase in bus fair as well as the reduction of routes amounts to nothing more than classism at best, class war at worst.

Making public transportation less accessible is a direct attack on the working and lower class. It is classist and racist and ableist. RTRU is having a public meeting on June 14th from 7-9pm at 7th at Broad at the University of Richmond downtown space. Richmond Food Not Bombs will be serving light refreshments at the meeting in solidarity. RTRU is partners with Richmond IWW.

For more information you can email richmondtru@gmail.com and go to http://www.richmondtru.org

If anyone wants to become involved in canvassing bus stops in the Southern Barton Heights neighborhood please come by the Wingnut to pick up some fliers.

Here is an article about RTRU:

http://rvanews.com/news/public-bus-users-fight-increasing-fares-route-cuts/28781

This is a new project being initiated by the new Richmond IWW chapter. GRTC and the state of Richmond’s public transportation are both in poor repair. If we want a more socially just community then we need more effective and accessible public transportation options. Please consider helping out RTRU, talking to folks in your area about it, etc.

Especially in areas like Southern Barton Heights, where we do not have many local jobs, stores, grocery stores, restaurants etc. people need a way to get to these important things. If the buses cost more and have decreased routes, this directly impacts the lives of many working class and poor people. Cutting public transportation is classist, and often implicitly racist. Cutting public transportation is an attack on working class and poor people. Joining together increases our ability to stand up for our right to public transportation that is effective and accessible.

There is not yet a website for this group, but there will be soon.

You can contact RTRU at: richmondtru@gmail.com

Here is more information about what the group hopes to do:

“About 88 percent of the Richmond region’s commuters travel to and from work in a car, typically alone,”

Public transit is necessary for the mobility of the elderly and the disabled. It is necessary for communities without markets to access the things they need. For those without a car, it is the ability to seek necessary medical attention, to keep a job, and to get home at the end of the closing shift. It is necessary because the valorization of car ownership leads to ecological disaster, exacerbates the fight for fossil fuels, batters local budgets by deteriorating roads over and over again, and results in daily misery with the widespread congestion of commuting workers.

However, here in Richmond, VA, year after year, bus fares increase and service is cut. The buses have little to no access to suburban job centers. The poor, working-class, and communities of color are punished daily for not subscribing to the car-ownership money pit. And the drivers and mechanics who are the life-blood of the bus system are underpaid, and mistreated. (more…)