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St. Louis’ Turn-Of-The-Century Transit Renaissance

Heartland Urbanist, Columbus-based organizer Matt Caffrey digs into the story behind St. Louis’s light metro system. In the mid-1980s, while many other transit agencies were moving toward developing trams – slow street-running light rail – St. Louis made the bold choice to build a light rail system on dedicated right of way. Opened in 1993, it’s now a 46-mile light rail system with two lines and 6.7 million riders in 2022. It’s also, he explains, a massive driver of private investment. Part of the reason why residents and visitors are able to take advantage of this system was local organizers with a St. Louis nonprofit, Citizens for Modern Transit.

Bus Drivers Strike With Climate Activists In 57 German Cities

Public transit workers across Germany have broken new ground by coordinating our contracts—nearly all of them nationwide have expired over the last four months—and shutting down bus systems with strikes in 57 cities. To add to the pressure, we’ve done something new for our union and for Germany: we’ve formed an alliance between local transport workers and climate activists, including the students who have been leading massive school walkouts. The devastating effects of climate change are already rocking Germany: major heat waves, flooding, and water shortages.

Kansas City, Missouri Approves Free Public Transit for All

Lawmakers in Kansas City, Missouri took a "visionary step" on Thursday by unanimously voting to make public transportation in the city free of charge, setting the stage for it to be the first major U.S. city to have free public transit. The Kansas City Council voted to direct the city manager to set aside $8 million to eliminate the $1.50 per ride fare that currently applies to the city's bus system. Some frequent riders could save about $1,000 per year under the new plan, according to KCUR, the city's public radio station.

1,000 Take NYC Streets And Trains In Outrage Over Police Attacks On Teens

Normally a bustling spot for engineering students, white-collar and blue-collar workers alike, Brooklyn New York’s Metrotech Commons became a 1,000+ strong sea of concerned working class warriors on Nov. 1. “Poverty is not a crime,” “No cops in the MTA,” “Make the MTA free” was shouted by the multiracial, intergenerational, and militant crowd. They carried signs that read, “No new police,” “NYPD off our trains, “Don’t let the police touch us.” The cops were out in full force, but “the people were angry and unafraid,” observed Party for Socialism and Liberation member Joel Northam from Brooklyn.

How A Transit Union Triumphed In An Anti-Union Stronghold

Transit in the Washington, D.C., area is heavily unionized. But until recently there was one stubborn holdout—the DASH bus system in Alexandria, Virginia. The city debuted DASH 35 years ago to create a cheaper, nonunion alternative to the regional MetroBus service. It was set up as a nonprofit corporation owned by the city so that it would technically be privately run, disqualifying workers from receiving the city pension. Over and over since then, drivers at DASH reached out to Transit Union (ATU) Local 689 to organize. They wanted what union members in the region already had—decent wages and benefits.

Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S.

The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated. When it comes to the quality of public transit, comparisons between American cities and international counterparts are usually met with a simple response: “It’s different over there.”

Protests Against Transportation Hikes Continue Across Brazil

By Staff of Tele Sur - Recife has joined the larger cities Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in protesting increases in public transportation fares, while demanding improved services. Protests in Brazil over the cost of public transit spread to the coastal city of Recife Friday as demonstrators took to the streets to say no to fare hikes, local media reported. Hundreds of protesters gathered in the center of Brazil’s fifth largest city to demand free transit passes instead of fare hikes from 3.50 reais (US$0.87) to 3.80 reais (US$0.95), which demonstrators have said is an unjustified increase given the state of public transit services.
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