Reflections from "Bringing People Closer to Opportunity Through Transportation Equity"

The 2014 Assets Learning Conference featured a session that linked financial security, transportation, and equity. It included discussion of how transportation impacts economic mobility for low-income people and communities of color, a first-of –its-kind conversation for this annual conference. 

The session lifted up efforts in New Orleans to leverage transportation investment for entrepreneurship and wealth building, and efforts in the Twin Cities to leverage transportation to address concentrated poverty and stifled economic opportunity. In addition, the session highlighted how housing and transportation costs consume so much of the income of many low-income people and communities of color.

For too many people the lack of affordable, reliable transportation leaves them unable to connect to work, affordable housing, education opportunities, and other pathways to financial security. Debates in Congress on transportation and tax reform have yet to provide forward-thinking, long-term solutions.

During the conference, a few key policy areas were identified, including: providing equitable and sustainable federal funding for transportation, as well as advancing anti-displacement strategies that shield low-income people and people of color from housing instability that so often occurs in communities that are redeveloping around new transit. Looking ahead, equity advocates – whether they are focused on community development, affordable housing, or transportation – will need to be engaged in driving policies that allow all to participate and prosper. To connect to national networks that are moving forward this agenda, check out the Transportation Equity Caucus website and Access to Financial Security for All website.

Follow the Assets Learning Conference on Twitter using the hashtag #ALC2014.


Anita Cozart
Anita Cozart