Transportation Equity

A fair and balanced transportation system will unite us, not divide us. It will ensure equal access to transportation resources and to the destinations that are important to everyone’s lives – jobs, shopping, medical facilities, entertainment, friends, family, and other social occasions.  In our region, lack of an automobile should limit no one’s opportunities.

Generally, an extensive mass transit system can provide this sort of equality of access. Advocacy for good transit service, affordable fares and transit system expansion is advocacy for broader social access to travel within the region. So too, walking and cycling infrastructure and safety programs can promote very low cost mobility, and need to be extended and maintained well in all parts of the region.  

Often, transportation impacts are borne disproportionately by particular parts of the population. Much of our transportation infrastructure is located in lower income communities of color. Health studies in the South Bronx, for instance, suggest that the interstate highways surrounding this dense urban area increase exposure to harmful air pollutants. This has led to overall higher levels of asthma in neighborhoods near highways, and other respiratory illness.

The Campaign works for an equitable transportation system that does not require the disadvantaged to take on the additional financial burden of car ownership. It also ensures that the transit-dependent are provided the reliable and efficient transportation service they need and deserve.

Some of the projects the Campaign is involved in that have an equity component are: 

Redevelopment in Newark

Newark, NJ is uniquely poised to once again become a vibrant city. However, it must first reclaim one of its best assets – its transportation system.

Sheridan Expressway Removal

Removing the Sheridan Expressway, a lightly used stub highway in the South Bronx, would create 28 acres of land that could be developed as open space or affordable housing, and reduce the burden of transportation infrastructure on the surrounding community.

Suburban Bus Riders

Suburban bus riders, to a greater degree than their urban counterparts, are likely to be the elderly, students, the disabled, lower-income people of color, or others unable to own a car. Poor transit service impacts their ability to get to work, school, or child care, putting them at a further disadvantage.

Senior Pedestrian Safety

Older pedestrians are especially at risk of being killed in a collision with a car or truck -- and in the Tri-State region, the disparities are even greater.

Federal Policy Reform

Every 6 years, Congress plays a major role in setting the country’s transportation priorities by determining how hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars can be spent. State and local governments ultimately control their own destiny, but the federal transportation bill directly influences how and where they invest in transportation.

New York State Transportation Equity Alliance

Tri-State is a coordinating member of the New York State Transportation Equity Alliance (NYSTEA), a coalition working to reform the next federal transportation bill so that national policy moves away from prioritizing highways and towards building livable communities for all.

 

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