Letter to the editor, Daily News, May 13, 2005
(Portions of my original letter omitted from publication are highlighted in underlined italics.)
The Bus Riders Union has made its usual hostile comments about Metropolitan Transportation Authority board member John Fasana's comment that a fare increase should at least be considered as part of our budget for next year. But the BRU has lived in its own universe for so long, they have failed to recognize that their continued threats to "organize against this campaign" -- to quote Manuel Criollo -- have caused MTA to fall far behind the industry norm.
I was in Sacramento last week for a legislative conference and, as is my habit, I used their Regional Transit buses to get around the Capitol. There was a notice on their buses about a proposed fare hike, and I believe it brings perspective to the discussion here in Los Angeles.
RT is proposing a cash fare hike to $2.00 from $1.50 (Metro is $1.25); their daily pass would go to $6.00 from $3.50 (Metro's is $3.00); and their monthly pass would go to $80.00 from $60.00 (Metro charges $52.00). If anyone is "out of touch with reality", it is Criollo and the BRU, not Metro.
In fact, Metro's fare revenues rank near the bottom of the largest agencies nationwide. Yet the BRU would use their argument of "bus riders' low income" as if it only applied to Los Angeles. Are they going to organize against Sacramento now, or will their hypocrisy remain rooted in our region?