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Transit Justice Rally

11:12 PM PDT on May 15, 2009

San Francisco, CA – On Monday, May 18th, Supervisor John Avalos, Chair of
the Budget Committee, will rally with other Supervisors, seniors, youth,
and other transit advocates to call for a roll-back of fare increases for
seniors, youth, and lifeline users; restoration of bus lines serving public
housing residents; and a package of increased parking fees.  Supervisor
Avalos will also announce a Charter Amendment to reform the governance of
the Municipal Transportation Agency.

        WHAT:     Transit Justice Rally and Press Conference
        WHEN:     Monday, May 18, 2009; 3:00 pm
        WHERE:    City Hall, Polk Street Steps

On May 12th, the Board of Supervisors did not have 7 votes to reject the
MTA budget after the MTA and Mayor conceded to $10.3 million in changes.
However, transit advocates remain concerned that the MTA has balanced its
budget disproportionately on the backs of riders. “If you look at the
numbers,” said Manish Champsee, President of Walk San Francisco, “the MTA
is balancing its budget on the backs of riders over drivers – they are
paying four times more than drivers for cuts in services and increased
fares. The impact should be more equitable.”

On Wednesday, May 13th the Budget Committee voted three to two recommend
that the full Board reject the MTA budget on Tuesday, May 19th. “Given our
grave economic crisis, we owe it to our seniors, youth, and other
low-income MUNI riders to come up with a better budget that ensures MUNI
accessibility and accountability,” said Supervisor John Avalos.

Supervisor Avalos has also called for a charter amendment that will provide
greater checks and balances and independence for the MTA Board of Directors
by allowing the Mayor and Board of Supervisors the ability to nominate 3
commissioners to the MTA Board. The amendment will also provide for the
another government entity (to be determined) to nominate the 7th MTA
commissioner.

The proposed Transit Justice Package poses increased parking fees in
certain parts of the City on Sundays and evenings, eliminating public
subsidy in the City’s parking garages, rolling back some fare increases and
safeguarding access for low income MUNI riders.

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