Oakland, Calif.'s Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District’s (AC Transit) Board of Directors voted unanimously to affirm GM Michael Hursh’s decision to prohibit employees from travel to the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) International Bus Roadeo — slated to begin May 13.
AC Transit employees have been past Grand Champions of APTA’s Bus Roadeo: a competition that recognizes superior skills of operators and maintenance teams nationwide.
Award-winning team members had every intention of demonstrating their commitment to rider safety and customer service by competing in APTA’s Bus Roadeo again this year, however, last month North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed controversial legislation that both blocked restroom choice for transgender individuals and restricted cities within the state from passing nondiscrimination laws. This decision is in direct conflict with AC Transit’s longstanding commitment of access and inclusion to all members of its community without regard to race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, according to a press release issued by the agency.
“AC Transit cannot support any government action that effectively reverses civil rights protections for all citizens,” said Hursh.
Hursh stressed that his decision to prohibit employee travel for the Bus Roadeo was not made capriciously. According to AC Transit, he sought counsel from Executive staff, leadership from collective bargaining units, and other colleagues who have arduously prepared for months to compete.
“I am empathetic to our valued staff but remain resolute to the commitments I made when I assumed this position less than one-year ago,” said Hursh. “That AC Transit will continue to maintain zero-tolerance of any discriminatory acts and foster the rich diversity of our riders and employees alike.”