Senator Alex Padilla Stands with SEIU 1021 BART and Other Frontline Workers to Ensure Transit for All
Last week, Senator Alex Padilla, BART Director Lateefah Simon, SEIU 1021 BART Chapter President John Arantes, SEIU 1021 BART Professional Chapter President Olivia Rocha, and others visited BART’s Powell Street Station in San Francisco to bring attention to the way American Rescue Plan funds have helped the community. Throughout the pandemic, frontline workers and other community members have depended on public transit to connect them with their workplaces and families, and recent ridership has been higher than any rates after March, 2020. To ensure transit access and safe, reliable travel for our community, the American Rescue Plan has provided more than $5 billion, including $852 million to BART. Much of this money has kept SEIU 1021 workers on the job, working to improve the system and make it ready for riders to come back.
Senator Padilla said, “Investing in public transit is critical to our economic recovery, and I’ll continue working to ensure California has the resources needed to improve the safety and reliability of public transportation.”
SEIU 1021 BART Chapter President John Arantes said, “Our community depends on transit and the high-quality, low-cost service we provide. Due to the leadership of our elected officials and the tireless work of union members, BART has continued to be the vital artery for San Francisco, Alameda and the Bay. Through the efforts of the Biden Administration and Senator Padilla, federal dollars have gone towards maintaining services at BART and preventing mass layoffs, so that frontline workers could continue to work and keep our economy afloat while everyone continued to have access to transit.”
“Cutting services would have hurt the whole community, and it would have devastated frontline workers, who are more likely to be low-income individuals & people of color. Many of our front-line workers depend on public transportation themselves to get to their jobs and provide for their families. Our workers have maintained the system as ridership has increased, and have helped BART save hundreds of millions of dollars by taking on work in capital infrastructure maintenance and upgrade projects that were originally going to be outsourced. We remain ready to welcome back riders old and new, and are pleased to keep working to make the whole system better, safer, and more accessible than ever.”