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Today labor unions, transportation advocates, civil rights groups, environmental organizations, and grassroots organizing groups from across the country are honoring the leadership and legacy of Rosa Parks. Despite decades of work to dismantle transportation apartheid in America, structural inequality remains the norm in cities, suburbs, and rural areas across the country. Reliance on and access to existing transit systems remain divided by race, class, and gender. Only 5.2 percent of commuters nationwide use public transit to get to work, but 11 percent each of Black and Asian-American commuters and 7.7 percent of Latinx commuters use transit. People of color are clearly more dependent on transit. Any efforts to address transit equity must be centered on racial justice.
 
Furthermore, a dramatic increase in reliable, accessible, and affordable green public transit is a key strategy in meaningfully addressing the climate crisis. However, the current solutions to America’s transportation needs are fragmented, corporate-driven, market-based initiatives that reinforce the role of cars at the center of our lives. Too often, these new mobility solutions also facilitate gentrification and displacement. They are dropped into communities without any meaningful resident engagement, and as a result, lack any understanding of what local mobility needs are.
 
The recent analysis of BART’s fare evasion policy shows the continued struggle to address racism in our transit systems. To build a movement for mobility justice we have to create a Bay Area, a country, and a world where people can move freely across borders, without the barriers of race, class, or corporations.
 

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Date sent: February 4, 2019

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