(KTSF by Sean Au)
Occupy activists are now asking drivers of AC Transit, which serves Alameda and Contra Costa counties, to extend the validity of bus transfers. Currently, passengers when changing buses to reach their destination, use transfers to get a 25 cent discount. These transfers are only valid once and can only be used within two hours.
Occupy activists say as AC Transit cuts services, many passengers now have to wait longer for their buses and make more transfers. Therefore, they are asking drivers to allow passengers unlimited use of the transfers and extend the validity of the transfers to three hours. This demand has the support of some drivers. Dave Lyons, who is a long time driver with AC Transit says drivers can help without going against the terms of their contract. “We explain what the fare policy is, and the transfer policy,” says Lyons. “We are not inhibiting the fare collection of AC Transit at all.”
Some riders support this suggestion. One rider says, “It should be valid for the whole day I think.” Another echoes, “It takes a long time for people to transfer from one place, wherever they are coming from. If they are going to make it for three hours, or a day or two, that would be great.”
This course of action does not get the support of the bus drivers’ union. AC Transit also stresses that drivers should heed the company’s policy in fare collection. Those who go against this, would be dealt with in a case-by-case basis.
Occupy leaders insist that passengers should keep trying. “Just because it does not work today, does not mean you should not try it again tomorrow or the next day, because some drivers are going to do it initially and some drivers aren’t,” says Cicily Cooper, spokesperson of the Oakland Occupy movement.
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