How Billions of Dollars in Transportation Spending Can Transform our Communities

By Alaa Milbes, Metro Magazine

Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent buying buses and railcars every year.

Although the national unemployment rate has declined since the Great Recession, for low-income families and communities of color, the unemployment rate remains in the double-digits and good, family-supporting jobs can’t come fast enough. We need strategies that revive U.S. manufacturing and other industries that can create the kind of jobs we want.

On Monday, transportation leaders led a symposium entitled “Transforming Lives and Communities: The Power of Transportation Investment” at this year’s American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Panelists discussed how we can use innovative transit investment strategies to improve equity and livelihoods in communities across the U.S.

With the “Ladders of Opportunity” initiative, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) is moving toward more inclusive and equitable infrastructure that will improve access to public transportation for communities who have historically faced inadequate transportation options. This will make it easier for them to gain access to school, jobs, and training allowing them to improve their economic prospects.

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