June has been quite an eventful month, and we want to share all the amazing momentum that you’ve helped encourage.
June 20, 2017 -- First Riders Meeting
After weeks of outreach, we were ready and excited to bring together a meeting for anyone that was willing and able to join us. We had amazing discussions in small groups where we shared our frustrations with Metro and how we are affected by the recent changes.
One important topic we agreed upon is how many times riders and workers are pitted against each other, but moving forward we want to work together for each others’ benefit and well-being. We ended the evening with brainstorming some next steps on how we can connect with more riders and get involved. We’re hoping to have more of these in different regions to help these meetings be more accessible to others.
June 22, 2017 -- Board of Directors Meeting
Here lies dependent transit riders! In a final meeting before Metro would raise fares and cut service, local riders and drivers came to the WMATA Board of Directors meeting to offer their narratives and perspective.
June 23, 2017 -- Save the J5 Demonstration
The J5 Metrobus line which went between Twinbrook Station and Silver Spring Station was one of the routes being cut that weekend. Source of the Spring, a local news source, highlighted the launch of a petition to reinstate J5’s bus service. Yet riders worked to get Metro’s attention in a couple final attempts. Javel Wilson posted a video to Facebook formally asking WMATA to keep the J5 route. And on June 23rd, after bus signs were taken down earlier in the day to preempt the elimination of their service, local riders occupied the bus in Silver Spring Station to support their drivers in an act of defiance. The news covered the story and Jampsea Campbell posted a Facebook live video of the demonstration.
The unity shown by J5 drivers and riders at this short demonstration was truly a wonderful sign of resistance!
June 26, 2017 -- Metro Changes
$1.75 to $2.00 Metrobus, some express buses increase an additional $2.00
$.10 on rail during peak service and $.25 during off-peak service
33 routes being eliminated or service reduced in DMV region
up to 25% of rail service cut during rush hour
no late night rail service for two years
Once again, WMATA made drastic changes which went into effect Sunday, June 25 2017. Metro’s budget agreement and service changes are easily described in an article by WTOP. And in a news video by ABC7, information and light-hearted perspectives on the changes are offered. But where is the urgency and desperation of dependent transit riders highlighted? If WMATA won’t listen, then we’ll make it so they hear us! The fight continues.
June 29, 2017 -- Rally for Transit Justice
Wow! Metro riders, workers, and community allies came together at Columbia Heights Station with such resilience and defiance. Without a doubt, we got WMATA’s attention and we let them know: WE ARE HERE AND WE AREN’T GOING ANYWHERE!
It is events like this where we can demonstrate our unity as a community and highlight the needs of communities forced to the margins. Yet our solidarity isn’t built through demonstrations or meetings alone, If we want WMATA to take us seriously than we need as many people involved as possible. Here are a couple of things you can do to take action and get involved with the Save Our System Campaign:
We hope to see you at one of our future events or involved in any way that you can. With everyone doing their part, we can be well on our way to Save Our System!