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Transportation and Social Justice (Fall 1995)

Special Issue (Vol. 6, No. 1: Fall 1995)

Our transportation system can tell us a lot about U.S. society. It can tell us about racism, economic injustice environmental stresses are exacerbated, leaving those most and environmental degradation. The patterns of our complex historical development as a nation - economic, social, cultural, political, environmental – are embedded in a transportation system many people take for granted. It is a system destabilizes urban core communities and does not serve the needs of many people of color, women, working, poor, young, elderly and disabled people in urban, rural and Native American tribal communities alike.

Rural America is where 43 percent of disabled, 39 percent of elderly, 32 percent of unemployed and 39 percent of people below poverty live. However, less than 10 percent of spending for public transportation goes to rural communities, which have high numbers of people who are transit-dependent.

A socially just and ecologically sustainable transportation system has the potential to increase job and income opportunities, promote efficient and healthy land use patterns, create environmentally safe communities, decrease fossil fuel consumption and improve the overall social, economic and environmental quality of life. But to improve public transit and other transportation alternatives, including bicycling and walking, and to protect public health and environmental resources means we must broaden and democratize the debate and policy-making process.

This issue of Race, Poverty & the Environment examines these and other transportation issues from a variety of perspectives and experiences. Important voices from communities of color, women, disabled people, labor, social justice advocates, environmentalists, transportation reform advocates and others frame the issues, illustrate examples, relate real-life experiences and offer strategies for reforming our transportation system to serve the needs of all people. We learn that community struggles are regional struggles are national struggles are global struggles. For example, privatization attacks on organized Mexican public transit workers are similar to the attacks on San Francisco bus drivers and political efforts to privatize public transit in the United States.

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1  Transportation Reveals the Heart of U.S. Culture

     by Henry Holmes

3  Opening Up a new Dialogue on Civil Rights and Transportation
     by Hank Dittmar

5  Still Getting on the Back of the Bus?
     by Lu Blaine

7  Health Care, Transportation and Quality of Life: The Salem, Oregon Connection
     by Christina Kirk and Melanie Smith

8  Labor/Community Strategy Center Organizes Bus Riders Union in L.A.
     by Lisa Duran

10 Accessibility Has Never Been Applicable to Poor People with Disabilities
     by Reverend Calvin Peterson

11 Public Facilities Siting and Transportation Access
     by Jacky Grimshaw

15 Transportation Facilities in Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color
     by Susana R. Almanza and Raul Alvarez

18 Discrimination in Transportation: Who Decides?
     by Mutsumi R. Mizuno

19 The Equity Implications of Market-Based Transportation Control
     by Mtangulizi Sanyika

23 Cash for Clunkers Can Hurt the Poor
     by Roger D. Colton and Michael F. Sheehan

24 Congestion Pricing and the Role of "Equity" Analysis
     by Cameron Yee

26 Americans in Transit: A Profile of Public Transit Passengers
     by The American Public Transit Association

31 The Need for Rural Public Transportation
     by Steven Alexander

33 Make Common Cause
     by Bruce Colburn

35 Transit Workers and Environmentalists Join Forces in the San Francisco Bay Area
     by Luz DeVerano Cervantes

37 SF Bay Area Regional Social and Ecological Justice Transportation Vision Statement

38 Statement on Urban Public Transit
     by the Coordinating Council of Bay Area Transit Unions

39 Sindicato Unico De Trabajadores De Autotransportes Urbanos De Pasajeros RUTA-100, Comite Central
     by Jorge Cuellar Valdez

40 The Struggle for Streetspace
     by Martha Olson

42 Bicycle Planning: Growing Up or Growing Old?
     by Bruce Epperson

45 Women, Transport and Poverty: The Role of Non-Motorized Transport
     by Julia Philpott assisted by Jeff Mullin

48 Improving Access for the Poor in Urban Areas
     by Michael Replogle and Walter Hook

50 Resources on Transportation and Social Justice

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