Bus Riders Unite (BRU), Portland’s transit riders’ union, exists to lift up the voices of transit-dependent people, who are often overlooked in decision-making. Bus Riders Demand LIFE: Low Income Fare Equity!
Here are the facts: transportation is a critical lifeline, the second-largest household expense for everyone, and even more expensive for people with low incomes. People who depend on TriMet are being priced out of the service area by rising housing costs, stagnant wages, and record-high eviction rates. We must keep our region economically-diverse and inclusive, or we risk making segregation worse.
Some would TriMet is a world-class transit system. But TriMet lags behind Seattle, San Francisco, and other cities which provide reduced fares for people with low-incomes. TriMet has the money, and the authority, to bring such a program to our region. Low Income Fare Equity is within reach.
Bus Riders have compiled a report on how a low-income fare should work, who it should reach, and how TriMet can pay for it without raising fares, cutting service, or reducing wages. Download the full report here.
BRU Members present this report to the TriMet Board of Directors with the hope that the Board will adopt a broadly-accessible reductionin the fare for individuals with low incomes. The Board must act quickly and decisively to make the system accessible to low-income people. The alternative is declining ridership, segregation, and a transit system that doesn’t serve those who need it most.
We await TriMet’s response to this report.
Bus Riders Unite! Transit is a human right!