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BRU Brouhaha

March 10, 2009
The Bus Rider’s Union: they hate subways enough to ride them.

While OCTA in Orange County prepares to slice and dice bus service, LA’s Metro remains relatively cut-free: service cuts are only being “contemplated” at this point. A combination of Measure R funds and stimulus money may keep Metro’s bus service afloat while also allowing for new train lines. But LA’s Bus Rider’s Union is not happy about this. They’re holding a news conference today, the LA Times has details:

[The BRU will] ask that federal stimulus money be used to purchase new buses, add more bus-only lanes and cut bus fares. “It’s a proven way of attracting ridership,” said Manuel Criollo, a spokesman for the group.

However, if their past record is any indication, the BRU will not only be lobbying for buses but against trains. Throughout its dubious history, the BRU’s credo has been that rail construction does not benefit minorities and is thus racist; if funds aren’t spent exclusively on buses, the MTA is propagating racism and must be fought. While a comprehensive bus system is an integral part of any mass transit network, it is foolish to think that blocking rail construction hurts minorities. Some have even suggested that the BRU may in fact be a mouthpiece for bus drivers worried about being laid off due to expanded rail. And Metro Rider LA has assembled a strong case against the claim that LA trains are racist. Metro Rider LA has also found a photo of BRU members riding on the (gasp!) subway.

Hopefully, the BRU won’t stop the construction of a great transit system in LA. Once more trains are built, everyone will benefit. Even the BRU.

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