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Taking the Bus to Work

January 23, 1988

Rather than hand out free token to encourage minorities to ride the overcrowded bus system (Metro, Jan. 12), RTD should be required to remove the racism which is inherent in its operation. As an example, to travel from affluent Studio City to Hollywood, one is presently required to take two buses which take 50 minutes rather than one bus and a 20-minute ride as was the journey prior to RTD's destruction of the San Fernando Valley bus service.

Almost every bus stop in Studio City has a bus shelter for its white, middle-class passengers who board air-conditioned, clean and relatively uncrowded vehicles heading for downtown.

To travel other than to downtown, a transfer is required at Vineland and Ventura where no bus shelter is available. The transfer is to a bus coming from a poor, working-class Valley location. The buses are literally jammed to the doors--as many as 10 people stand between the driver and the front door--with minorities. There is never any air-conditioning, the buses are dirty, and the rear doors seldom open for easy exit.

Traveling from Hollywood into the Valley, the situation is even worse. The transfer site for the westbound buses at Lankershim and Ventura has no shelter, nor is the sidewalk paved. Every morning, as many as 100 Latinos and blacks wait for bus service here.

The RTD board should end racist policies, and return decency, competency and courtesy to the bus service.

ANTHONY SLIDE

Studio City

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