The bus drivers of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 have been keeping our public transit system working, yet they are putting themselves at serious risk of contracting COVID-19. For their safety, ATU Local 1005 has been pushing for suspending fare collection and having passengers enter through rear doors. This past Tuesday, TC DSA’s Labor Branch organized a phone zap to increase the pressure on Met Council and Metro Transit to respond to their demands, which our allies at the Twin Cities Transit Riders Union have also been pushing for.
Hundreds of calls were made and we are happy to report that bus fare is suspended on all lines except A and C, and customers who can board and exit through the rear door are now required to do so!
Workers in healthcare, grocery stores, logistics, and other sectors, however, continue to put their lives at risk to keep us safe and our society running. We demand that these workers have the equipment they need to stay safe, access to free testing on demand, hazard pay, state-provided child care, sick pay, and as minimal contact as possible with the public over the course of this crisis. We will be working to make sure these demands are quickly met. TCDSA will also be continuing its campaign to make sure that the state secures housing for those experiencing homelessness so they can self-quarantine, lowering the strain on our healthcare workers and infrastructure, as well as the necessary space for hospital beds. If you can help with this critical work, please contact us.
And remember that we should already be taxing the rich and big business–who benefit so much from corporate welfare, but contribute so little to our public goods– to fund free mass transit!