American transportation is rife with inequality that makes it more difficult for low-income people, people of color, and people with disabilities to get where they need to go, and can put them at greater risk. Today’s inequalities reflect the racism and ableism of the era in which much of today’s network was built, but they also still pervade federal transportation policy. The INVEST Act—a transportation policy proposal in the U.S. House—offers a major first step towards a more equitable transportation system by breaking with many policies of the past.
What should we accomplish with the billions in transportation funding the federal government spends each year? That’s an open question that Congress has so far seemed unwilling to answer. New principles from our Transportation for America, program seek to paint a picture of what we can—and should—get done. Congress should take note; it’s long past time for a reset of broken federal transportation policy.