Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequity, a radio documentary by Transportation Nation highlights inequality in the public transportation system brought about by misguided planning and spending.
“At the same time we were doing Brown v. Board of Education and trying to integrate the school system, we were investing billions of dollars in a highway system that segregated the nation by allowing people to be able to run away from urban areas that were integrated to suburban areas that were all white,” explains Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink in the documentary. Still, 80 percent of federal transportation dollars are spent on roads, with only 20 percent going to public transit.
Oakland City Center: 12th Street Bart Station
The desire to live in suburbia, however, has changed, replaced with a new desire by affluent populations to live in urban, walkable centers near public transportation. This desire continues to drive up home and rental prices in urban areas near transit, driving out the lower-income populations that rely on public transit the most, forcing investment in automobiles or reliance on inadequate public transit.
For more on this important topic listen to Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequity.
In addition to Transportation Nation's documentary, Ms. Blackwell spoke on this issue on two other programs:
- WNYC’s The Takeaway, "Equal Rights in Public Transportation Still a Battle for Minorities" and
- Marketplace, "Transportation Projects Make Budget Sense"