Filipinos rally for fair public transit in San Francisco

Fil-Ams are demanding for equitable changes to the current transit system, saying their demands will result in better fares and better riding experiences for all.

These pictures were on the February 4th rally for transit justice in San Francisco.

Fil-Ams of the South of Market Community Action Network or SOMCAN co-sponsored this event.

Their demands — gathered from the community — include free and reduced fares for all, and equity of seniors and those with disabilities.

“We were running on demands of not just free fares but also for equity for neighborhoods that are underserved by transportation. We wanted to talk about liability and frequency. We wanted to talk about transit wages and how transit workers should be getting fair wages,” said Mary Claire Amable.

Despite these calls for change — public transportation agencies in the Bay Area have been making changes to accommodate low-income riders.

Starting in the fall, low-income CalTrain riders will get a 20 percent discount for at least one year on single-ride adult Clipper Card fares.

This is a pilot program — according to the CalTrain board — who looks to counter loss in revenue with more riders.

BART, the Golden Gate Bridge, and highway and transportation district have also opted for the 20 percent discount.

Muni in San Francisco has agreed to a 50 percent discount.

However, community advocates say these changes are not enough.

Students say they are already having a hard time affording school while also budgeting their commutes to class and work.

SOMCAN and other community organizations say they will continue to plan to meet with the transit committee to ensure their demands will be met.

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