The way we get around is changing. Public transit, bikes, scooters, Uber, Lyft, – our mobility options are constantly evolving and expanding. Cities are often innovators and leaders in environmental protection and many are developing and implementing strategies to enable the growth of electric transportation. But these options are not necessarily becoming more accessible or available to all.
As we shape the future of transportation to include electrification efforts, we must lead by including historically underserved communities that are often impacted the hardest by changes in transportation. Historically, emissions from the transportation sector have disproportionately impacted low-income communities of color. A study conducted by Union of Concerned Scientists found, “On average, communities of color in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic breathe 66 percent more air pollution from vehicles than white residents.”
Forth has partnered with cities through the American Cities Climate Challenge to provide recommendations and examples of equitable practices to cities for their electric mobility roadmaps and strategies. It is crucial for cities to lead emissions reduction and transportation electrification (TE) with equity as a primary consideration. Cities should start by creating needs assessments to identify gaps in mobility systems. By including communities in transportation plans from the beginning, residents are empowered to determine the direction of TE strategies.
What follows is a report including our findings as well as suggestions for incorporating equity into municipal transportation electrification plans. A significant amount of this report was created from accounts of people and organizations that have developed transportation electrification strategic plans and roadmaps. Equity practitioners The Greenlining Institute and EVNoire also contributed throughout various stages of this document providing their insights and expertise. We also interviewed staff members representing 11 cities through the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge– including Los Angeles, CA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA.
This report is not comprehensive of all equitable practices and recommendations in transportation electrification but Forth strives to ensure that every community has access to reliable, affordable, and clean transportation options. Download the full report here