Putting the Public Back in Public Transit
 
Through Bus Riders United (BRU), OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is building a powerful and inclusive movement for transit justice led by those who depend on public transit the most: people of color, low-income riders, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, youth, and seniors.
 
During BRU’s first campaign prioritization meeting in November 2010, BRU launched the Campaign for a Fair Transfer to extend TriMet transfer times. After years of leadership development, direct action (like the protest rally seen at left), and grassroots organizing on the buses and at transit stops, the Campaign for a Fair Transfer paid off when OPAL and BRU secured a 30-minute extension of transfer times for cash/ticket riders.
 
This was a significant win for transit riders, but also for regional equity. Gentrification and displacement have wreaked havoc on low-income families and people of color, who are increasingly pushed further from resources and amenities in the city center.
 
“Extended transfers will give riders more flexibility and control over their daily lives while helping to reduce overall transportation costs,” says OPAL Executive Director Jon Ostar. “The Campaign for a Fair Transfer is an example of how we can work together to demand changes that transform power in our society and increase opportunities for all.”
 
OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon is an MRG Foundation grantee.