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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Transportation Equity

Transportation equity is a civil and human rights priority. Access to affordable and reliable transportation widens opportunity and is essential to addressing poverty, unemployment, and other equal opportunity goals such as access to good schools and health care services. However, current transportation spending programs do not equally benefit all communities and populations. And the negative effects of some transportation decisions— such as the disruption of low-income neighborhoods — are broadly felt and have long-lasting effects. Providing equal access to transportation means providing all individuals living in the United States with an equal opportunity to succeed.

Facts

Latest Reports & Resources

Tribes & Transportation: Policy Challenges and Opportunities

Tribes and Transportation: Policy Challenges and Opportunities addresses the critical need for transportation infrastructure development to foster economic development, job creation, and improve living conditions for individuals and families in American Indian/Alaska Native communities, and the millions of Americans who travel through our reservations every day.

Read the report

Equity in Transportation for People with Disabilities

Congress is currently debating reauthorization of the surface transportation bill, with heated debate over spending amounts and policy needs. As the nation consider its transportation policy for the 21st century, it is crucial to consider the needs of all individuals living in the United States, especially those who have traditionally been left behind.

Read the report

Facts About Equity in Transportation for
People with Disabilities

Though people with disabilities live in every community, our transportation policy has undermined the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) promise of equal opportunity in transportation for people with disabilities, resulting in isolation from jobs, housing, health care, and education. As policymakers discuss such important issues as how best to rebuild and repair our nation’s roads, bridges, railways, and ports, and where and how to prioritize investments in public transportation, it is vital that they take into consideration the needs of people with disabilities.

View Fact Sheet (html) | Download Fact Sheet (PDF)

Where We Need to Go: A Civil Rights Roadmap
for Transportation Equity

Where We Need to Go: A Civil Rights Roadmap for Transportation Equity highlights the critical need for all segments of society to participate fully in the debate around our nation’s transportation policy to ensure that no community is left behind.

Getting Home:  Transportation Equity and
Access to  Affordable Housing

Getting Home: Transportation Equity and Access to Affordable Housing highlights the need for the next surface transportation reauthorization to provide access to truly affordable housing.

Getting to Work: Transportation Policy
and Access to Job Opportunities

Getting to Work: Transportation Policy and Access to Job Opportunities examines how the programs funded by the surface transportation reauthorization will not only affect Americans’ access to existing jobs, but also generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

The Road to Health Care Parity: Transportation Policy
and Access to Health Care

The Road to Health Care Parity: Transportation Policy and Access to Health Care points to the tendency of transportation policies to exacerbate preexisting disparities in access to health care and exposure to environments that often diminish public health. 

Latest Video

Latest News

House Committee Hearing Signals Movement Toward New Transportation Bill

January 23, 2014 - Posted by Lexer Quamie

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure held its first hearing of the year on January 14. The hearing, titled “Building the Foundation for Surface Transportation Reauthorization,” was an important step for the committee charged with developing a new long-term bill to fund our nation’s surface transportation programs since the last bill, MAP-21, expires at the end of September.

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Senate Advances Surface Transportation Bill with Bipartisan Support

March 15, 2012 - Posted by Lexer Quamie

With strong bi-partisan support, the U.S. Senate yesterday voted 74-22 to pass Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), a federal surface transportation authorization bill that provides $109 billion over two years for investments in highways, transit, safety, and other programs.

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Disability Rights Advocates Call for Transportation Equity

March 1, 2012 - Posted by Sandy Thomas

At a recent briefing on Capitol Hill, civil rights, human rights, and disability rights advocates discussed how federal transportation policies can be improved to meet the needs of one of the nation’s most transit-dependent communities: people with disabilities.

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House Committee Votes to Cut Dedicated Funding for Federal Transit Programs

February 4, 2012 - Posted by Lexer Quamie

Over the opposition of state transportation departments, the National Urban League, Transportation for America, the American Public Transportation Association, and a diverse coalition of other organizations, the House Ways and Means Committee today passed a bill that would strip dedicated funding for public transportation. The move cast aside a 30-year history of providing dedicated funding for federal transit programs.

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Congress Lets Mass Transit Tax Benefit Expire

December 28, 2011 - Posted by Lexer Quamie

Due to inaction by Congress before leaving for the holidays, the amount of tax-exempt money that mass transit commuters can apply toward transportation costs will be cut in half to approximately $125 per month. As a result, the tax-exemption for parking costs, at $240, will now be nearly double the mass transit commuter benefit.

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At Senate Hearing, Advocates Discuss Lack of Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities

November 28, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Disability rights advocates emphasized the need for accessible public transportation at a recent Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing.

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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Urges Senate to Support 'Rebuild America Jobs Act'

November 3, 2011 - Posted by Ron Bigler

Addressing the ongoing jobs crisis affecting millions of Americans, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is supporting passage of the 'Rebuild American Jobs Act' currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate.

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Senate to Take Up Infrastructure Funding Bill to Create Jobs and Boost Economy

November 1, 2011 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

This week, the U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on the Rebuild America Jobs Act, legislation that would create hundreds of thousands of jobs by investing in the nation’s crumbling roads, highways, and schools.

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House Passes Transportation Extension Unanimously, Moves to Senate

September 14, 2011 - Posted by Lexer Quamie

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an extension to continue programs for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for four months and to continue federal highway, transit, and highway safety programs for six months. The current bill funding the FAA expires Friday, while the current version of the surface transportation reauthorization is scheduled to run through September 30.  

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New Report: Transportation Investments Can Expand Low-Income and Minority Access to Job Opportunities

September 2, 2011 - Posted by Scott Simpson

Following President Obama’s call for a “clean extension” of the surface transportation bill and a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), The Leadership Conference Education Fund released a new report, “Getting to Work: Transportation Policy and Access to Job Opportunities,” which highlights how inequities in transportation funding undermine civil rights guarantees of equal employment opportunities.

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Advocates Call for Transportation Equity at Ohio Meeting

June 3, 2011 - Posted by Ron Bigler

Civil rights, labor, disability, low-income, and other advocates held a public meeting at the Statehouse Atrium in Columbus, Ohio, on June 1 to draw attention to the transportation needs of millions of Americans as Congress begins negotiations on a major transportation bill.

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Transportation Equity Creates Jobs, Expands Access

April 19, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

In testimony submitted to the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee last week, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, stressed the importance of transportation equity as a pressing civil and human rights issue facing our country.

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New Coalition Applauds President’s Call for Transportation Investment

January 31, 2011 - Posted by Jeff Miller

A new coalition dedicated to increasing and improving transportation options for all Americans – particularly those in minority and low-income communities – is applauding President Obama for highlighting the need to invest in transportation to help rebuild America during his State of the Union address last Tuesday.

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President Obama Announces Commitment to Rebuilding Nation’s Aging Transportation System

October 21, 2010 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Following up on his Labor Day announcement calling for a $50 billion transportation and infrastructure investment, President Obama last week met with a group of governors and mayors to affirm his commitment to a bipartisan six-year plan for strengthening the nation's aging system of roads, railways, and airports.

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Policy Letters

Resources & Reports

Organizations Working on Transportation Equity

Take Action

Opportunity for All! Sign the Transportation Equity Pledge

Transportation is a crucial link to ensuring opportunity for all, connecting us to schools, housing, health care, grocery stores, and, most importantly, jobs. But millions of low-income people and people of color live in communities where quality transportation options are unaffordable, unreliable, or even nonexistent.

Join us in calling on Congress to invest in transportation that expands opportunity for all.

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