Calling mass transit “a genuine civil rights issue,” the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), which represents transit workers across the nation, joined with the Occupy Movement, community organizations and transit riders to demand a revitalization of our transit systems. Citing such problems as “older vehicles, deferred maintenance and longer wait times for overcrowded buses and trains,” the ATU was also critical of service cuts and higher fares which have hit working class riders the hardest.
ATU national president Larry Hanley was inspired to ally ATU with the Occupy Movement when he learned of a proposal from Occupy Boston for a national day of protest around transit issues. Occupy Boston had issued this statement:
“In Boston and in cities around the country, our hard-won and necessary transportation systems are under attack. Their viability is being threatened by savage cuts and fare hikes in a calculated push toward privatization by corrupt and unresponsive politicians and their corporate benefactors.”