To the Editor:
The United Seniors, the Gray Panthers, and the Bus Riders Union are very concerned with AC Transit's proposed fare increase and proposed parcel tax. These groups, and their staff, worked very hard to assure passage of Measure B and were assured that AC's major revenue problems would be solved. Now AC is again asking for more money.
Why is it that it is always the riders who are required to meet the need for more revenue whether in the form of increased fares, reduced service or a parcel tax? If we are all – drivers, management, riders – one family, as the late general manager Sharon Banks used to say, why should not the other two members of the AC family also share the pain?
What about eliminating travel costs of board members and employees? In these days of the Internet and faxes, telephone and television conferencing, it seems a large waste of money to send directors and employees zipping around the country and the world. How many millions would that save?
What about reducing wages and salaries to meet this crisis? Public sector jobs are a lot more desirable, these days, than those in the private sector. Let's all share the pain. Furthermore, the union pension fund is non-contributory. How many more millions would it save if union members had to contribute some of their own money to this fund?
We of the United Seniors, Gray Panthers, and Bus Riders Union would like to see AC Transit get serious about saving money, starting with the ways we suggest in this letter, rather than always sticking it to the riders, particularly seniors and the disabled.
A final point. Instead of eliminating lines, why not increase their headways, rather than cut them out altogether?
President, United Seniors
Founder, Bus Riders Union
Co-Convener, Gray Panthers