Bus Riders Union on Day 6 of Hunger Strike Outside Union Station
Since last Thursday, a handful of Bus Rider Union members have camped out across from Union Station in weeklong hunger strike. Last night at 10 p.m., the atmosphere was jovial: music, singing, conversation, laughter. If it weren't for the skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles towering above, this was exactly what any campsite in the woods felt like. But here, there's a message and that is of stopping Metro fare hikes that will begin in July.
"The idea is to basically show the MTA the conditions they are setting people with this fare increase," explained Ronald Collins who has been fasting since last week. "For working class communities of color, that $13 is a meal, that $13 is added on top of rising cost of rent, the rising cost of school tuition, the rising cost of everything in our lives."
On July 1st, new fares will be upped a quarter to $1.50 for one ride. Day passes will go up to $6 from $5, Weekly up $3 to $20 and monthly will increase $13 to $75. It's the third fare hike in 15 years and compared to other major American cities, it's still lower: New York and Chicago boardings cost $2.25 for a boarding.