BAY AREA ATU DEMANDS that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission provide SAFE SERVICE NOW!

Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Local265

As infections and deaths from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic mount, Bay Area Locals are demanding that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission provides safe service now for frontline transit workers. We need protective personal protective equipment, strategic service levels that maximize social distancing, pandemic leave and other measures to ensure we can safely transport essential workers to the front lines in this fight and protect our jobs and livelihoods throughout this crisis. Please take immediate action and sign the online petition below to make these demands by entering your name, address, and postal code. All you have to do is hit SEND.

To: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
From: [Your Name]

As the steward of $1.3 billion in emergency federal transit assistance, you must spare no effort to ensure that the riders and workers who use and operate public transportation in the Bay Area are fully protected from exposure to COVID-19.

Public transportation is an essential frontline service, today more than ever before. During this unprecedented pandemic, our buses and trains carry essential workers to hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and other workplaces where they provide care and services that support the millions of Bay Area residents who can shelter in place.

Many other transit riders today are transit-dependent and rely on transit to get to those essential destinations.

Transit workers—those who operate, maintain, and clean our transit vehicles—are also essential frontline workers. They face high rates of infection and death on the job.

All of these workers and riders are placing themselves and their families in harm’s way and deserve our full support.

We, therefore, demand that you direct sufficient funding in the allocation of the remaining federal emergency transit funds to ensure that each one of our transit agencies provides all of the following:

1. Increased health and safety measures for transit workers and the riding public by providing gloves, masks, sanitizers, and all PPE needed.

2. Pandemic leave for anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19, exposed to them, or with family or childcare obligations resulting from shutdowns.

3. Compensating workers classified as essential during a public health crisis with at least 1.5 times their normal wage.

4. Rear door entry and fare elimination to support social distancing.

5. Hand sanitizer on all transit vehicles and transit hubs.

6. State-of-the-art sanitizing to disinfect all transit vehicles upon return to division/work location, and for line relief operators.

7. Retaining employees and maintaining wages and benefits during service curtailment.

8. Strategic continuation of service to avoid overcrowding.

9. Limiting bus passenger loads for 35-foot buses to 5 riders, 40-foot buses to 6 riders, and 60-foot buses to 9 riders and paratransit to no more than 1 rider.

10. Requiring passengers to wear masks to board a transit vehicle.

11. Fully-paid, on-site testing of transit workers for COVID-19 symptoms.

You can allocate tens of millions of dollars to flattening the curve and saving lives while still devoting the vast majority of funds to retaining employees and maintaining wages and benefits during service curtailment.