Our Transit Justice Priorities

OPAL, Bus Riders Unite!, and our Fellows are here to make sure that TriMet works for the community. In the past few years, we've grown increasingly concerned with the decision-making that oversees the system. Because of the recent turmoil at TriMet, we've decided to put forth a comprehensive platform which reflects bus rider priorities. This platform is current as of March 13th, 2018.

Photo of people carrying signs. Several of the signs say Why Pay more for less?

OPAL and BRU Values and Expectations for TriMet Leadership

Accountability – Transparency – Community Involvement & Oversight – Bold Leadership – Rapid Problem Solving – Deep Democracy

Priorities Overview

CONTEXT: Transit is one of the last truly diverse spaces in our city: youth, seniors, people with disabilities, and other diverse communities all congregate on our buses and trains. OPAL and BRU organize transit riders to represent these diverse communities’ interests. We know the layout of Portland neighborhoods is highly segregated due to a long history of racism in public planning. Our communities live in East Portland due to ongoing gentrification. Low income people and people of color are more likely to be transit-dependent. Below are longstanding priorities of the people who rely on TriMet the most. More...

Improve East Portland Service

No North-South service existed between East 122nd Avenue and East 181st Avenue until the recent addition of a new line on 146th. Service in East Portland is infrequent and often unsafe, leading to decreased ridership. We must invest in East Portland first and most to achieve racial and economic parity. More...

Fund and Sustain YouthPass

East Portland Youth have long lacked equal access to free student transit. The City of Portland currently funds the program, but not equitably or sustainably. TriMet can and should incorporate expanded youth and student transit access into long-term strategies to increase ridership. More...

Stop the Militarization of Public Space

TriMet is over-policing our bus and rail system despite objections from riders and drivers. Police do not put people of color, immigrants, or youth at ease. Police presence reduces ridership. More...

Maintain Fare Levels & Improve Service

Riders pay three times for transit: Federal taxes, the new employee-side payroll tax at the State level, and then at the fare box. TriMet should utilize the resources riders pour into their coffers to enhance the riding experience for the people who ride the most. More...

Involve Community in Selecting Leadership

We demand public involvement in the decisions about who leads our transit agency. These people impact our lives. We deserve a say in who they are, based on their vision for the agency. The region agrees. More...

Repair the Disconnect with Riders

The Board of Directors is currently appointed by the Governor, and rarely if ever represents the bus-riding public. We want to see the agency recognize this disconnect and push for appointments representative of riders, and increased rider engagement in planning. All engagement with the public should be done with an equity lens, with greater involvement of the Transit Equity Advisory Committee and Committee on Accessible Transit. More...

Make eFares Work for Parents

Parents don’t want to manage the account balance on multiple cards. Youth above age 7 must pay to ride, and parents are forced to buy, charge, and manage the balance on multiple cards just to get their children to the doctor or anywhere else around town. More...

Make eFares Make Sense

The recent removal of paper tickets from retail locations to force a switch to electronic fares was unnecessarily abrupt and caused some panic in our community. We are pleased this decision was delayed. The lack of communication about this change to the bus riding public was surprising given that TriMet spends $14M of our money on public relations each year. More...

Make eFares Accessible and Optional

The Skanner recently reported that the map of retail locations to buy eFare cards on the TriMet website was inaccurate. The process of rolling out the eFare system has brought countless hurdles and made our communities uncertain about how fares work and where they can be purchased. All this because TriMet wishes to avoid the collection of cash, which is a method of payment the lowest-income riders will always depend upon. If you remove cash from the system, you will exclude the lowest-income riders. More...

Become a Sanctuary System

Our communities have reported that fare inspectors have asked for immigration status from bus riders. Oregon and Portland are both purported sanctuaries, and this is a blatant abuse of power. No person should be deported because of a failure to pay $2.50. More...

Explore New Revenue

Bus Riders Unite presented a report to TriMet in 2016 which clearly detailed revenue mechanisms the agency is not employing. Park and Ride tolls, increased fares for the $16/ride WES train, and increasing advertising revenue through on-bus and bus stop advertising should all be explored. More...
Posted in Against Enclosure of Wealth and Power, Against Exploitation, Against Militarization, Against White Supremacy, Air Quality, BRU Fellows, Bus Riders Unite, East Portland, Invest in the Good, Policy Advocacy, Transit Justice.