Minority bus riders and community groups from Alameda and Contra Costa counties (Calif.) filed a federal lawsuit this week claiming the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) in Oakland maintains a “separate and unequal transit system” that favors white suburban commuters.
The lawsuit alleges that the MTC has disproportionately funded rail services used predominantly by whites and under-funded services such as AC Transit’s bus system, which is used primarily by low-income minorities.
According to news reports, the accusation is based on a 1994 suit filed against the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority by the Bus Riders Union. In that case, a settlement resulted in a federal consent decree mandating improved services for urban riders.
The Bay Area suit was filed on behalf of three minority riders, a nonprofit group and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 192.