Occupy Oakland is turning its attention to AC Transit, urging bus drivers to honor freshly expired transfers rather than making riders buy an additional ticket.
AC Transit transfers, which cost 25 cents, are good for two hours and a single ride. Occupy wants drivers to honor the transfers for up to three hours and for multiple rides, members of the group said during a Wednesday news conference at the Fruitvale BART station.
The group is hoping to forge an alliance between drivers and passengers to fight for AC Transit getting a larger share of public transit resources. The bus agency's transfer policy, which used to be more favorable for riders, is a major source of friction between riders and bus drivers, Occupy Oakland member Cicily Cooper said. Riders with especially long commutes sometimes wind up paying for two tickets just to get to work, she added.
Occupy Oakland's campaign does not come with the endorsement of the bus driver's union. The activist group says it is asking individual drivers to honor the expired transfers. The only AC Transit employee on hand for the news conference was Dave Lyons, a veteran bus driver who said he didn't expect drivers to face discipline for teaming up with Occupy Oakland. "I've never seen anybody in my 32 years be written up for not enforcing the fare," Lyons said.
AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson wouldn't discuss the Occupy Oakland effort, saying only, "We have a bus fare policy, and we have no reason to expect that any of our bus operators won't adhere to it."