This month King County ended its contract with the anti-worker Veolia/Transdev and brought on a new provider for Access Paratransit Services. That’s good news, and I join with disability justice activists and the entire community in celebrating this victory, which came after years of organizing and agitating. My letter to the community is here, and also below:
Congratulations to ADAPT, the Transit Riders Union, Stop Veolia Seattle, and the Disability Community Hub for the tremendous victory for improved Access services!
Our Council office is proud to have worked alongside you, ATU 587, APRI, seniors, people with disabilities, and other community members in the last three years to expose Veolia’s anti-worker practices and poor service, and to demand better Access services with a new provider. We have united with Boston school bus drivers fighting Veolia’s union-busting, demanded an audit of Access services, mobilized for hearings, and held Metro accountable for a fair contracting process.
And now, thanks to this perseverance and unwavering leadership, we have won! I also want to congratulate King County Councilmember Larry Gossett for his steadfast solidarity in this fight.
We, of course, can’t stop here. We need to continue organizing and speaking out to ensure that the new contract brings the improved service that riders have been demanding, in line with their ADA rights. And our movement needs to be powerful enough to win a massive expansion of public transit (including full accessibility for all ages and abilities), making it fully electric, and free at the point of use. Such bold policies will also create hundreds of new public-sector, unionized, living-wage jobs, and paid training opportunities for young people. But this will become a reality only by taxing big business and the wealthy.
Please join my office and the People’s Budget 2019 campaign in the next 3 weeks in advocating for the study we have called for, as part of the City of Seattle’s 2020 budget, that would develop a citywide plan to make public transit free for all.
This is part of our fight to win a #GreenNewDeal for Seattle’s working people! Providing free access to public transit for all will massively increase ridership, preventing greenhouse gas emissions, and providing opportunities to create more green, union jobs in public transit!
Again, congratulations on your Access victory!
Seattle City Council, District 3