Bus riders rely on transit because they can't afford a car, share a
car with family or are unable to drive because of disability or age.
are a majority of these bus riders. Many women, particularly women of
colour, need public transit because they are concentrated in low-wage,
night shift, temporary, part-time work, and have a lot of family
responsibilities. They need reliable, affordable, and 24 hour public
transit. As TransLink privatizes transit services, women have to deal
with high fares, poor service and barriers to our ability to get around.
As a public service, transit should be designed to meet the needs of the people who depend on it. Women deserve an affordable, reliable and accessible bus-centred public transit system. TransLink’s record of fare increases and cuts to bus service to pay for contracts with private companies illustrates that TransLink does not prioritize the needs of transit dependent women.
The current transit system does not meet the needs of women and
prevents women from having equal access to employment, public services
and meaningful participation in our communities. This is especially
damaging to women of colour, Aboriginal women, recent immigrants,
seniors, women with disabilities, students and youth who already face
discrimination in other aspects of their lives and have a greater need
for public transportation.
The Bus Riders Union, a grassroots organization with
over 900 members, is fighting to put the needs of bus riders, particularly women, at the centre of transit planning
and public policy. The BRU has developed a vision of a
woman-centered public transit system based on the concrete recommendations we have collected from hundreds
of transit-dependent women. We are working to have
women’s recommendations implemented by organizing to
win more buses and lower fares. As working class women,
fighting together for change is the only way we have ever
won improvements in our public services!
Get involved in the struggle!