The Amalgamated Transit Union and its D.C. Local 689 ATU Local 689 is blasting a reported plan hatched by right-wingers to privatize Washington’s Metro system, including the buses and the subway. The Metro board has already turned over one garage, in suburban Virginia to privatizers. Privatizing would cut service to Metro’s hundreds of thousands of daily riders, the union said. The subway, despite recent declines, is among the three busiest in the U.S., and Metrobus carries hundreds of thousands more. “If you sit in the windowless boardroom of” Metro headquarters, “you’d think ‘privatization’ is a silver bullet that will magically eliminate costs and restore ridership to its heyday,” said Local 689 president Raymond Jackson. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” The solutions are expanded and improved service, as has occurred in Seattle and Houston, he said. That means more investment in repairs and upgrades – and in union workers and their wages. “Transit experts know how to fix this,” he said. So does Jackson’s local, which made the same recommendations last year, and so does Metro staff, unlike its management, he added.
– Press Associates, Inc.(PAI)