Equity and the New Starts Program
Late last week, PolicyLink submitted comments in response to the Federal Transit Administration’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the New Starts and Small Starts Programs.
Read our full comments here: Leveraging the New Starts Program to Build Communities of Opportunity_PolicyLink
Here is a sample:
As a leader in the movement to build more equitable transportation policy, PolicyLink is deeply invested in the success of the New Starts and Small Starts programs. As the largest federal source of funding for building our nation’s public transportation systems, the New Starts and Small Starts programs play a significant role in shaping communities around the nation.
If leveraged well, these programs can foster more equitable, sustainable, and opportunity-rich communities throughout the country.
The transportation projects that are funded by the New Starts and Small Starts Programs should build healthy, sustainable communities of opportunity—places with quality schools, access to good jobs with family-supporting wages, affordable housing choices, public transportation, safe and walkable streets, parks, healthy environments, access to healthy food, and strong social networks.
First, this means increasing transportation access and mobility for communities where public transportation is unaffordable, unreliable, or nonexistent, most often in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.
This also means leveraging the New Starts and Small Starts Programs to: reduce housing, transportation, and energy costs for working families; improve health outcomes (particularly disproportionate health impacts on disadvantaged communities); and link low-income workers and minority-owned firms to economic opportunities in the transportation industry.