Posts Tagged ‘budget cuts’
May is the time to stand up in support of functional public transit in the Charleston area and against the planned 5% cut in CARTA services. Links are to facebook signups. You can sign the onlne petition to stop the cuts now.
- Attend the Tuesday, May 8, City of Charleston Council meeting at City Hall at 80 Broad Street at 5 pm to present letters, signed petitions and speak during the public comment period. Public comment is generally held later in the meeting, so don’t worry about getting there late. Transit Directions from N. Charleston to Charleston City Hall.
- Listen to Morning Buzz on WTMA AM 1250 at 8 am for discussion segment on Fighting the CARTA cuts.
- Demonstrate at Superstop on Wednesday, May9, hand out information and collect petition signatures at the bus stops around the intersection of Rivers and Cosgrove Avenues in North Charleston, SC from 3 pm to 5:30. This is the system’s busiest stop and we’re sure to reach hundreds of people. Transit Directions to Superstop from Downtown for that day and time.
- Plan to attend the Wednesday, May 16 CARTA Board Meeting at 2 pm at the Lonnie Hamilton County Office Building to present petitions and letters and well as to speak during the public comment period.
Full details and links to facebook signups with access to Google Transit Trip Planning for each time and location can be found at www.eastccrider.com or be obtained by calling (843) 870-5299.
This demonstrations are planned to raise community awareness about planned 5% service cuts to the CARTA system, which has achieved record ridership of over 425,895 riders as of March 2012 (an increase of 15.84% over first quarter 2011), reflecting the growing need for functional public transit to serve people working in the region’s hospitality and medical industries where wages are often not high enough to support ownership and operation of an automobile. A report released in March proposes cutting routes and service to reduce costs. CARTA is already one of the most efficient transit systems in the US and charges some of the highest fares in the Southeast, recovering on of the nation’s highest percentages of the cost of operation from the farebox. 34.57% . The system made major cuts in service in 2010 and smaller ones a year later, including loss of night bus service essential to allowing restaurant and medical workers to return home after work.
Information and reports on the first demonstration, held May 1 can be found at http://busec.org/fighting-the-carta-cuts-consolidating-resistance/
“It’s time for the Charleston region to accept the reality that our cost of living, geography and economy require us to have a functional public transit system to serve the needs of workers, students and tourists. If we have a quarter of a billion dollars for an Expressway on Johns Island, 12 million dollars to renovate a WWII destroyer and 150 million dollars for airport improvements, it is well within our region’s capacity to find the modest amount of funds to provide reliable bus service for those who need it to make the service sector of our local economy work for everyone.” According to William Hamilton, coordinator of the Hungryneck Straphangers, an independent public transit advocacy group from East of the Cooper.
Background Information & Documents
- Younger Americans are driving less, Taking Transit More- http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/transportation-and-new-generation
- Continue the Progress Proposal from East Cooper CARTA Riders https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=10aqryEpXpgNjXKQTVBwQlFtoJrjicHLbiY2hhR2ImlI
- Much misinformation about pay for bus drivers has been circulating. Starting pay for a CARTA Bus Driver is $9.81 per hour and increases with seniority to $17.86 and hour after over a decade of service. Many drivers get only one day of vacation and two days of sick leave per year. Many work “split shifts” driving during the morning, taking a forced 2-4 hour time off the clock and then driving again in the evening. Others are required to work overtime. Bus drives must pass tests, have a CDV license and a clean criminal record
- Proposed CARTA Five Year Plan http://www.ridecarta.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Agenda_Board_2012_0418_Part-3-of-4.pdf
- April 2012 CARTA Ridership and Financial Report http://www.ridecarta.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Agenda_Board_2012_0418_Part-2-of-41.pdf