An affordable, reliable, and connected public transit system is one of the fundamental building blocks of a healthy region. It increases ridership and is the most cost-effective and equitable solution to the climate crisis. Support for a just transition shifts us from a carbon-based economy and creates thousands of new green union jobs.
To advance transportation justice, we partner with transit riders and transit workers who have historically lacked political and decision-making power in the region to create a transportation system that:
- Distributes transportation benefits and investments equitably throughout the region, especially in bus service for communities that rely most on public transit.
- Promotes effective leadership by engaging transit riders, transit workers, people with disabilities, and low-income communities of color in transportation decision-making processes.
- Makes transportation and regional planning transparent, democratic, and accountable to transit riders and workers.
- Invests in communities over cars and transit over more highways to meet regional and state climate goals.
What's at Stake
Transportation justice has been at the heart of the civil rights movement in America – from challenging the notion of “separate but equal” to the Montgomery bus boycotts and the Freedom Riders. For those who rely on it most – youth, seniors, low-income workers, and those without access to a car – public transportation is a lifeline to education, jobs, and health care.
However, the Bay Area’s regional development priorities have never included a connected, affordable, and reliable transportation network that meets the needs of its low-income communities of color. Instead, corporate interests and the highway construction lobby have dominated transportation policy, resulting in a transportation system biased towards the elusive goal of reducing traffic congestion by building more roads.
Without a strong, equitable transportation policy agenda driven by community-identified needs, the communities who rely most on public transit could find themselves stranded – yet again. Urban Habitat works to help anchor the regional movement to fight these structural inequities.