T4America Blog

News, press releases and other updates

Posts Tagged "equity"

Justice40 “benefits” could mean more emissions, worse health outcomes in disadvantaged communities

A biker cruises in the sidewalk along a busy street

In President Biden’s first weeks in office, he established an environmental justice initiative called Justice40, which aims to direct benefits from federal investments to disadvantaged communities. Today, the administration is working on more specific guidance on how Justice40 should be applied, which will determine how effective this effort will be.

Continue Reading →

Getting to equitable outcomes in the infrastructure law

A crowd of pedestrians in downtown Seattle

Despite the rhetoric, the infrastructure law falls well short of truly addressing the decades of harm our transportation system has inflicted on marginalized communities, and could even exacerbate existing inequities. However, it does provide some notable opportunities to restore and invest in these communities’ infrastructure needs.

Continue Reading →

Longer trips, faster speeds, fewer options: What’s really valued in the “value of time”?

A pedestrian walks along the edge of a road filled with cars.

Despite its name, the federal “value of time” guidance doesn’t actually value travelers’ time at all. Instead, this arcane but influential measure focuses on one thing: vehicle speed. The result is more dangerous, less convenient travel for everyone.

Continue Reading →

The infrastructure law and safety: Will it be able to move the needle?

The new infrastructure law authorizes around $650 billion to fund transportation infrastructure through formula and competitive grant programs, some of which have safety as a core emphasis. Here’s what you need to know about the new money and (modest) policy changes to the safety program, as well as how you can make them work for you.

Continue Reading →

USDOT urges states to prioritize repair, safety, and climate with their influx of infrastructure bill cash

road sign that says "changed priorities ahead"

Although state DOTs have always been free to prioritize repair, safety, or improving access for everyone across the entire system, most have traditionally chosen to use that flexibility to build new highways instead. With state DOT coffers soon to be loaded with billions from the new infrastructure bill, USDOT is urging states via a new […]

Continue Reading →

From policy to action: Six things USDOT should do yesterday to maximize the potential of the infrastructure deal

entrance to the USDOT headquarters

Because of the shortcomings in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)’s actual policy, an enormous amount of pressure now rests on USDOT and Secretary Buttigieg to deliver on the administration’s promises. But the good news is that there are scores of actions that USDOT can take to deliver positive outcomes for equity, climate, safety, state of repair, and enhancing community connections.

Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles aren’t good for equity, but we should try

An electric Smart car charges at a curbside charging station in DC

Electric vehicles, while vital for reducing emissions and meeting our long-term emissions reduction goals, are not a good strategy for improving existing inequities in transportation. But there are specific things we can and should do to make this transition more equitable than it otherwise would be.

Continue Reading →

Electric vehicles are good for emissions, bad for advancing equity

A Black man walks to a bus stop along a multi-lane highway

Climate funders, electric vehicle industry groups, and environmentalists are rightly confronting the question of how to address equity in the electric vehicle space. They may not like the answer.

Continue Reading →

Strides towards Building Back Better the US transportation program

a full bus of commuters

The revised version of the Build Back Better Act preserves $40 billion in important additions that will advance racial equity, address climate change by lowering emissions, and foster community-oriented economic recovery. T4America is encouraged to see these inclusions, but they’ll be a drop in the bucket compared to the much larger infrastructure deal, which doubles down on our dangerous, disconnected, high speed vehicle-dominated status quo.

Continue Reading →

A way to improve the infrastructure deal

We strongly urge you to support the transportation programs proposed for the budget reconciliation package, which will help fill the gaps left by the bipartisan infrastructure deal. 

Continue Reading →

Three ways reconciliation can restore funds taken from transit and equity

Nancy Pelosi speaking into a microphone with Chuck Schumer on her right, AFGE behind her

With the bipartisan infrastructure deal approved by the Senate, opportunities to shift long-term transportation policy will shift to the House and to program implementation. The opportunity in the House is through targeted investments via the budget reconciliation bill that will accompany the House infrastructure bill vote.

Continue Reading →

The bipartisan infrastructure deal’s passage: More money for more of the same

Yesterday the Senate passed the bipartisan infrastructure deal, which incorporates the Senate transportation reauthorization in all its good and all its flaws. We outline what’s in it and where to go from here.

Continue Reading →

Nine ways the House’s transportation proposal starts to make a “paradigm shift”

With the House’s INVEST in America Act being considered in committee on Wednesday, it’s a good time to look at what else beyond our core three principles in the bill are worth praising and potentially even improving.

Continue Reading →

Unsafe streets in marginalized communities lead to inequitable traffic enforcement

Equitable enforcement of traffic rules is a major national discussion. But under-discussed is the role dangerously-designed streets play in putting Black and brown people in a perilous position: break traffic law and risk interacting with police, or put themselves in harm’s way when navigating unsafe infrastructure. Here’s our recap on a recent House hearing on equitable enforcement of traffic rules.

Continue Reading →

Everything we liked (and didn’t like) at Buttigieg’s Transportation Secretary confirmation hearing

Last Thursday, former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg faced the Senate for questioning on his nomination to be Secretary of Transportation. We liked almost all of his answers, and we weren’t alone: Senator Tester said Buttigieg’s testimony was “refreshing.” Here’s what T4America liked and didn’t like from Buttigieg’s confirmation hearing.

Continue Reading →

How the Biden administration can make immediate strides on climate and racial equity

The spread of COVID-19 has sent the United States plummeting into an unprecedented national crisis, but it has also illuminated the path forward. Smart Growth America, along with some of our programs, identified immediate executive actions and long-term policy changes that the incoming Biden administration can implement to eliminate structural inequities and address catastrophic global climate change.

Continue Reading →

If we want equitable smart cities, we need support from philanthropy

A close-up of the handlebars of a Lime electric scooter. The scooter has a small computer screen that reads "Scan to Ride". To the right of the screen is a QR code.

Everyone agrees that smart cities—places that deploy technology to deliver government services and improve quality of life—are the future. City leaders and staff are inundated with these new mobility products but have limited capacity to ensure that they are deployed in ways that lead to equitable and sustainable outcomes. Our director Beth Osborne explains why cities, states, and non-profit actors need philanthropic support to pursue policy research and projects that make equitable, sustainable smart cities a reality.

Continue Reading →

Thriving Together: A springboard for equitable recovery & resilience in communities across America

A new report—Thriving Together—takes a comprehensive look at how “we can convert our immense loss from COVID-19 and other crises into renewal.” This report represents the combined efforts of more than 100 people and organizations, including Transportation for America, to create a thoughtful guide for rebuilding a more equitable society with “all people and places thriving. No exceptions.”

Continue Reading →

Coronavirus will have huge impacts on transit systems—here’s how Congress should help

16 Mar 2020 | Posted by | 6 Comments | , , , ,

Congress and the president are considering ways to provide much-needed boosts to the economy due to the impacts of the novel coronavirus. But simply pouring money into the existing transportation program as a whole will fail to help the people who rely on transit to access the health care system and will have impacts on transit service that will last for years to come. Here are some ways Congress could provide targeted assistance to transit and the people that rely on it in the weeks and months ahead.

Continue Reading →

Rose Lanes get love from Portland City Council

The Portland City Council is moving forward with a plan to improve transit service through a series of targeted improvements to some of the city’s most delayed bus and streetcar corridors. Known as the Rose Lane Project, it’s designed to advance equity, reduce carbon emissions, and increase transit ridership with quick-build projects. It also offers lessons to other cities struggling with sluggish transit systems mired in a sea of cars.

Continue Reading →