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Transportation decisions should be viewed in a personal manner and within a social context--when transportation is not accessible, jobs, health care, schools, and participation in society are limited. Indeed, transportation investment decisions are less about steel and concrete than about the creation and distribution of life's opportunities.
Transportation serves as a key component in addressing poverty, unemployment, and equal opportunity goals. Local transportation providers need to increase efforts to provide alternative transportation services in areas with high concentrations of transit dependent persons and nondrivers.
Historically, transportation has not been available to all, or it has been available only in a way that has channeled some people to specific places and inequitable opportunities, sometimes involuntarily.
Because of the discriminatory underfunding of urban bus service in California, advocates for transportation equity argue that reliable bus service in low-income communities is essential for equal access to every kind of opportunity.
The ability to leave one's home to go to work, to visit friends, or to access critical services is fundamental to one's quality of life. Especially crucial to people disabilities, public transportation provides a lifeline to active participation in their communities.
For thousands of people who use wheelchairs, taxis are simply not available. The group, Taxis for All, has advocated with state, city and taxi officials within New York and the nation to increase the number and availability of accessible taxis.
To countless older persons, driving is a point of pride. Every state has its own regime for licensing drivers, but for elderly Americans the challenges can be many.
The stories would be laughable if the underlying concern weren't so serious. Legions of Americans encounter delays, questioning, and searches because they have names that show up on a government watch list.
In the highly mobile, car dependent societies that are common to most of North America and Europe, the lack of personal transportation in low-income households is often a major factor in their economic and social exclusion.
Transportation by rail has been an important feature of the public landscape. Trains move both passengers and freight and continue to be a critical element of political controversies ranging from regional growth to free trade.
Out of the successful Denver action that resulted in the city retrofitting 250 buses, ADAPT was born. In one short generation, people with disabilities transformed themselves from a community perceived as passive victims needing charity to an active social movement fighting for civil rights, equal justice, and opportunity.