OPAL rallies for longer transfer times (photos)

OPAL’s transit advocates rallied outside the TriMet board meeting Wednesday morning for their “Campaign for a Fair Transfer” to extend TriMet tickets to three hours, or all night for fares purchased after 7 p.m.

OPAL AmeriCorps member Katherine Philipson and OPAL co-executive director Joseph Santos-Lyons rolled out a new chant for the event: “Three hours / All night / Transportation is a Right”:

Katherine Philipson at mike

More shots from this morning beneath the jump.

Courtney Henrich and other volunteers gathered signatures from passers-by to add to the 6,000 OPAL says it’s gathered so far:

opalCFTpetition

OPAL volunteer Jackie Miller handed out t-shirts to Dorothy Rasche and others:

opalCFTtshirt

OPAL’s Cameron Johnson kicks off the marching with a pep talk. “First off, who needs a sign?”

cameronsigns

Brent Schieldz and Chad Rodriguez (below, from left) were two of several activists from anti-poverty group Sisters of the Road who joined the rally. Sisters of the Road volunteer coordinator Marisa Espinoza said people experiencing homelessness frequently struggle to make multiple errands around town using a single TriMet tricket.

“If you’re using that one ticket, you really need it to last,” Espinoza said.

opalCFTsisters

OPAL’s Teresa SotodeRoman and Keith Scholz, and Andrew Riley of the Center for Intercultural Organizing:

keith scholz picket

Paul Cienfuegos of OPAL, center left; Michael Moore, behind sign, is a Sisters of the Road and Active Right of Way activist:

michon

Ptery of Dignity Village, in yellow; Brendan Phillips of Sisters of the road, sipping coffee. I didn’t get the name of the big-brimmed fellow:

opalCFTcowboy

I counted about 33 demonstrators total, though more joined the group once the meeting began inside:

fullrally

From left, a woman whose name I didn’t get; OPAL’s Matt Guynn, hoisting sign; Guillermo Maciel, who works as a policy advisor to Multnomah County chair Jeff Cogen; OPAL’s Monica Reyna; OPAL staffer Crystal Wabnum:

opalCFTline

OPAL’s Tyler Clifton was snapping photos, too:

tyler clifton

Recent OPAL recruit Dorothy Rasche said she was at her first event for the group after meeting them during the recent fight against LIFT fare increases. I asked what had animated her to join OPAL. “They do the work that is in my heart,” she said.

dorothy rasche

Later, inside the TriMet board meeting, our East Portland correspondent Natalie Baker grabbed some shots of the somewhat larger crowd. Guynn, craning his neck:

trimet board natalie

In an announcement I found significant, Dr. Phil Wu said Kaiser Permanente Northwest supports the proposal, which he said would make it easier for people to get to healthy food and lead active lifestyles:

phil wu testimony natalie

OPAL’s Marisa Espinoza and Teresa SotodeRoman discussed the stress involved with trying to reach one’s destination on time:

teresa testimony

At the end of testimony, TriMet’s board voted unanimously for a deeper evaluation of the possible costs and benefits of longer transfer times. We’ll definitely be covering this more on our wiki as the issue continues to develop.

(Ongoing disclosure: We’ve partnered with OPAL on another project that isn’t directly related. No money changes hands between us and Portland Afoot doesn’t endorse OPAL policy positions, though obviously we’re sympathetic to their general mission.)

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