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.
Low- and moderate-income households spend 42% of their total annual income on transportation, while middle-income households spend less than 22%.
Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Consumer Expenditure Survey 2000
Nearly two-thirds of all residents in small towns and rural communities have few if any transportation options: 41% have no access to transit and another 25% have below-average transit services.
American Public Transportation Association
Nearly 20% of African-American households, 14% of Latino households, and 13% of Asian households live without a car.
Brookings Institution and UC-Berkeley, Socioeconomic Differences in Household Automobile Ownership Rates
Hispanic pedestrians suffer a death rate 62% higher, and African Americans almost 70%, compared to non-Hispanic whites.
FHWA’s Pedestrian and Bicyclists Safety Research program, 2004
Every $1 billion invested in public transportation capital/operations creates or supports: 36,000 jobs, $3.6 billion in business sales, and nearly $500 million in federal, state, and local tax revenues.
Economic Development Research Group
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 overtwo years for investments in highways, transit, safety, and other programs.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.