February 5th Celebrate Transit Equity Day!

The Transit Equity Day logo- a green circle with a bus, train, and pedestrian on the outside. Inside reads "Transit Equity Day / For Civil Rights and a Healthy Planet #TransitEquityDay"Transit Equity Day is a collaborative effort among organizations and unions who believe that public transit is a civil right, and a key strategy is preventing climate change.

Bus Riders Unite are celebrating on Monday, February 5th with transit rider outreach, letting people know about our recent victories and how they can get involved with OPAL. Join us at OPAL’s office either at 8:30am or 3:30pm to help us reach riders on the morning commute or afternoon ride. Then we’ll celebrate at 5:45pm with food and beverages, and talk about our plan for the year ahead.

The Youth Environmental Justice Alliance will be celebrating in schools around the city! Franklin and Madison High Schools will see direct student action. Parkrose will have lunch-time tabling, collecting narratives about how having access to public transit has been beneficial to youth. The big youth event will be at David Douglas from 3:00-4:30. Representatives from Safe Routes to School, Oregon Walks, and Community Cycling Center will be present. The event will collect student narratives, help students apply for YouthPass, and distribute February bus passes to students who still need them.

Transit Equity Day is February 5th, the first Monday after Rosa Parks’ birthday. We celebrate Rosa for her tactical refusal to give up her seat on the bus, in defense of her own civil rights as well as those of all African Americans who deserve equal treatment on public transportation. Join OPAL as we celebrate Transit Equity by talking to bus riders about our ongoing organizing.

OPAL is proud to advocate for Transportation Justice. We believe that transit should be safe, fare-free (or at least affordable), accessible, efficient, and decriminalized. We also know that public transportation is a solution to the congestion and carbon output we face as a region. Our work is a direct continuation of Rosa Parks’ brave challenge to a system that denied her community access to rights and opportunity.

Bus Riders Unite won the Low Income Fare Equity (LIFE) campaign through grassroots direct action organizing. The Youth Environmental Justice Alliance expanded YouthPass to East Portland by developing the leadership of youth who had been denied this opportunity. Our allies at Amalgamated Transit Union 757 (our bus drivers!) were successful in negotiating their recent contract because they built solidarity among an impacted community. Direct action gets the goods. And OPAL’s movement work continues, as members have identified community-controlled safety of buses, and improvements in service and frequency for East Portland, as priorities this year.

Our celebration and community outreach will kick off at OPAL at 8:30am Monday, and again at 3:30pm. We’ll talk about our strategy for the day, and head out to transit stops and stations around Portland to get bus riders connected to our growing movement for transportation justice. You’re invited! After we finish, we’re hosting a dinner to break bread and build community. Come and meet other people who care about Transit Justice.

For more information contact Bus Riders Unite Organizer Orlando Lopez at (503) 774-4504.

Posted in Build the New, Bus Riders Unite, Celebrations, Climate Justice, Coalition Building, East Portland, Transit Justice.