Statement of Principles

Transportation is a crucial link to ensuring opportunity for all — connecting us to jobs, schools, housing, health care, and grocery stores. But millions of poor people and people of color live in communities where quality transportation options are unaffordable, unreliable, or nonexistent. Federal transportation policy choices — what we build, where we put it, who builds it, how we operate it, what energy powers it—have an enormous impact on our economy, our climate, and our health. We must invest in a manner that builds a nation where all people can participate and prosper.

The Equity Caucus at Transportation for America — formed by the nation’s leading civil rights, community development, disability, racial justice, economic justice, faith-based, health, housing, labor, environmental justice, tribal, public interest, women’s groups and transportation organizations — drives transportation policies that advance economic and social equity in America.

To see the list of organizations that have signed on to the principles, click here.

Contact Us to sign on to Our Equity Principles. 

Create affordable transportation options for all people

  • Significantly increase funding and maximize existing funding that supports enhanced public transportation service, bicycle facilities, and sidewalks — particularly in disadvantaged communities.

  • Give communities flexibility to use federal funds to help operate local public transportation systems.

  • Expand and improve service for people who depend on public transportation — older adults, individuals with disabilities, people in rural areas, and the poor.
  • Increase investment in bicycle-sharing, car-sharing, and auto-loan programs for low-income families in rural communities, small towns, and underserved urban neighborhoods.

Ensure fair access to quality jobs, workforce development, and contracting opportunities

  • Establish and uphold job quality protections and standards, including prevailing wages and benefits, across the transportation sector. 
  • Provide resources for affordable job training and career pathways for all people, including women, people of color and low-income individuals to access employment opportunities associated with manufacturing, building, maintaining, repairing, and operating our nation's transportation systems. 
  • Strengthen, enforce, and tie federal funding to compliance with contracting goals for disadvantaged business enterprises, in order to ensure supplier and industry diversity.

Promote healthy, safe, and inclusive communities

  • Establish a pilot program using health impact assessments to evaluate the individual and community health outcomes of transportation projects in urban, suburban, rural, and tribal communities. 
  • Require complete streets and provide resources to ensure all communities have roads, sidewalks, and active transportation networks that are safe and welcoming to everyone who uses them. 
  • Require and fund a greener and cleaner freight system in ports, on rail, and via truck, to reduce emissions, improve air quality, and support local solutions to freight transportation challenges. 
  • Provide incentives to reduce the combined cost of housing and transportation, particularly for our nation's poorest families, and guarantee access to racially and economically integrated communities by expanding and preserving affordable housing near public transportation, quality schools, and job centers. 
  • Increase resources at the U.S. Department of Transportation to support transportation projects that better integrate housing, community economic development, and environmental sustainability goals.

Invest equitably and focus on results

  • Establish criteria and align federal funding to national transportation outcomes such as improved mobility for people and goods, access, transit ridership, health and safety, as well as reduced household costs, carbon emissions, and vehicle miles traveled.
  • Repair and improve aging transportation infrastructure to ensure that it is safe and well-maintained.
  • Actively enforce civil rights provisions to ensure fair and equitable access to the benefits of our transportation system, and prevent disproportionate negative impacts on disadvantaged communities.
  • Utilize new revenue to expand or improve mobility and access for underserved communities and ensure that any mechanisms used to finance our nation's transportation system do not disproportionately burden low-income people.
  • Establish rural transportation planning organizations where they do not exist, and reform metropolitan planning organizations and state departments of transportation to improve accountability and public engagement in decision making, especially for tribes and historically disadvantaged communities.