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Bus Riders Union gearing up for City Hall protest

Bus Riders Union

Rina Palta / KPCC

The Bus Rides Union in Los Angeles held a protest against service cuts Wednesday at City Hall.

Members of L.A.'s Bus Riders Union were amassing on the steps of City Hall Wednesday morning for a noon protest against the million hours of transit service they say have been cut over the past four years.

Organizer Michelle Lopez said the group's plan was twofold: asking Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to help restore services and seeking the attention of President Barack Obama, who Lopez said should treat access to public transit as a civil right.

"Everyone uses the bus, workers, students, right?" Lopez said. "And we pay for that service. But right now, the MTA is not giving us the service we're paying for. So bus riders, can't rely on any bus right now, because they're late, they're overcrowded, and that's all because of the service cuts that have been happening. "

Minorities and low-income Angelinos have been the most affected by transit cuts, Lopez said.


Distribute suitcases of cash, get investigated: a Coliseum case study in union payments

monopoly man money mural venice beach coliseum investigation

Photo by ToGa Wanderings via Flickr Creative Commons

Making union payments via suitcases of $100 bills is a practice frowned upon by the U.S. Labor Department, it turns out. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum officials are learning this the hard way, as they have become the target of a criminal investigation in an IATSE wage payment scandal that saw more than $1 million in cash passed to the union without controls on its distribution, explains the L.A. Times. The Coliseum Commission may be responsible for hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payroll and withholding taxes.