ATU Local 689 applauds Mayor Bowser’s rejection of the D.C. Council’s decriminalization of fare evasion bill.
Our union's membership is made up of more than 80% people of color. We are mindful of the disproportionate effect of fare evasion citations, but we do not believe that inviting theft is a reasonable way to resolve this issue. The best way to achieve fairness, bring back riders, and boost revenues on Metro is through a modified $2 flat fare system and with financial assistance to low-income riders. Should the Council insist on free Metro rides, those rides must be for everyone, and the District must increase its funding to cover that cost. The Council’s bill, as written, encourages more evasion that leads to assaults on bus operators and station managers, and creates greater tension between paying riders and fare evaders. Our union is ready and eager to work with the Council on developing solutions that will address all the issues while making Metro safe, affordable and reliable for all.