Dear Mayor Dyer & the Fresno City Council,
As leaders in the City of Fresno, I urge you to support funding equitable transportation opportunities for all residents through the Zero Fare Clean Air Act (ZFCAA).
Transportation issues are a major concern for people experiencing poverty and we all know that one way out of poverty is education. As a State Center Community College District Trustee, I know how valuable transportation is to our students. Our whole community benefits when people can move freely to school and work.
There are always challenges to be overcome, but I know that the plan will be thoughtful in the details of its rollout to take into consideration COVID-19 precautions, the safety of our bus drivers and passengers, and replace bus fare revenue. These concerns, while valid, can be addressed and overcome in the details of the plan. Communities across the nation have figured this out and we can too.
By eliminating the city-wide costs of bus fare, the City of Fresno would help reduce carbon emissions, increase FAX efficiency & safety, promote infill development, and build a more walkable City.
I whole-heartedly support the Zero Fare Clean Air Act.
Nasreen Michelle Johnson
Trustee, State Center Community College District
Dear Council Members,
I know the pandemic has hit our community hard. FAX has been an essential service provider with her employees on the front lines. In July 2020 we were pushed to the brink, many of our staff was unavailable to work due to Health & Safety Protocols.
These same same CDC/County/City protocols limit the passengers to 10 per bus. In the month of January 2021 nearly 800 "paying" passengers were left behind. These are people that needed to get to work, school, appointments, and stores. ADA passengers in wheelchairs are also left behind due to the 10 passenger limit. I would like to mention that the City of Fresno safety protocols are more strict than the 10 passenger limit for a 30 ft or 40 ft bus. There is also an issue where the public is not required to wear a face covering while on board a city bus. They are only required to wear a face covering when they board. This is despite the new directive from the Federal Government. There is also the issue of biohazards on the buses. Currently the department is averaging at least 1 call a day to have bodily fluids (human waste, blood, saliva) cleaned on our buses and bus stops. This is requires a bus to be pulled from service and an added costs to be cleaned & disinfected.
I am concerned about how many people will left behind with the free fare. FAX had a semi free bus for a year, it didn't go well.
I am writing in opposition of the Zero-Fare Bus system. I am opposed to this resolution because I have experienced the bus when riders thought the "Q" bus was free. It creates an unsafe atmosphere not only for drivers but the passengers as well.
We are currently at a 10-passenger limit and regularly leave behind passengers due to this limit. Zero Fare will encourage those that would normally not ride the bus, to once again ride even though they do not have a destination. It will take a seat from a passenger who does have a destination i.e., work, grocery store, etc. I would suggest riding the bus for a couple of weeks for ALL your travel needs and experience what everyday passengers are currently experiencing with a 10-passenger limit and the problems that some passengers create.
It will cause unsafe buses by bringing back the homeless looking for a hangout while riding the bus from one end of the city to the other only to have a place to sleep, drink, or do drugs. Placing the safety of the drivers in a predicament as there are not enough police officers on assignment with FAX to handle the problems that occur on the bus. Problems arise on the bus daily even with the current fare in place. Making it Zero-Fare would bring more problems to the bus system. Please consider your decision carefully when casting your vote on the Zero-Fare Bus System.
FAX Bus Driver