Thursday, January 17, 2019

Once again SunRail insults the memory of Dr. King

It is a disgrace that SunRail will not be operating on the Monday (1/21), the national observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Dr. King came to national prominence as a public transit activist in 1955, when he helped lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

For more than a year, hundreds of black people in Montgomery didn't ride the buses because they refused to sit in the back. In 1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. where he went to support sanitation workers who were striking to protest dangerous working conditions and poor pay.

Dr. King was a champion for working people, poor people – the very same people who get screwed when SunRail is not running. SunRail is not a theme park ride, it's public transportation that real people depend on.

The MLK Holiday is a bank holiday and a holiday for federal workers (let’s not even get into that). Most other people, especially hourly workers and those who work in the service and hospitality industry must work on that holiday.

Many people who use SunRail -- especially those who do not own cars -- say an hour or more is added to their travel time when the train is not running. So how the heck can SunRail honor MLK while screwing working people? It’s cynical. (The Lynx bus will be running.)

We raised this concern several times in the past, including earlier this month at the SunRail Customer Advisory Committee meeting. SunRail CEO Nicola Liquori, who came to her present role long after the schedule was established, said she would find out why MLK Day was a SunRail holiday.

Her interest and concern are deeply appreciated. It’s time for SunRail to provide the community with the level of service we need and deserve.

Sadly, we won’t see you on The Rail on the MLK holiday because the train won’t be running.

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