Climate Solution #5
Advocate at the DART Board for public transit that is more frequent, reliable, and free. Shift DART to 100% electric busses by 2030 and implement anti-displacement measures alongside transit changes.
How it works
We can use the transportation sector as a strategic lever in the march to a Green New Deal by tackling our highest sources of carbon emissions, putting millions of people to work upgrading and repairing existing infrastructure (itself a far lower-carbon form of work than simply building new highways), and reducing the impacts of personal vehicles on human mortality and morbidity rates, all of which can create 6.6 million job-years across the U.S. over the next ten years.
In an America with abundant transit and safe streets for walking, biking, and rolling, more jobs will be within reach of people with low incomes, and transportation costs will consume far less of their earnings. Tens of thousands of lives will be saved annually by reducing traffic collisions, and many more premature deaths will be averted by improving air quality. The incidence of asthma, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic ailments caused by car pollution will fall.
By prioritizing transportation access, we’ll enable millions of people to take advantage of jobs and opportunities throughout their cities and regions, ending the current disparities in mobility linked to race, economic status, age, or ability.
A Green New Deal for transportation will also reduce traffic by giving people safe and reliable choices other than a car trip.
Electric vehicles (EVs) can help accomplish the primary goals of a GND, but only if policy is designed intentionally, with socioeconomic equity in mind. Simply swapping gas guzzlers for EVs will not improve safety for people biking, walking, and taking transit, will leave our communities overwhelmed by congestion and non-tailpipe emissions, and will not make jobs and services available to people who cannot afford to purchase a car.
Ways to get there:
Put the majority of Dallas residents within walking distance of frequent, high-quality public transit by 2030, by providing agencies with operating assistance to run more buses and trains, expanding overall funding for transit projects, and encouraging transit-oriented development.
- Increase funding for transit, especially transit operations, modernize our transit infrastructure, cut red tape for transit priority projects, promote equitable transit-oriented development, and ensure all DART buses are electric by 2030.
- DARTzoom bus route will launch in 2022: The plan is set, but if federal infrastructure money comes in, how does that change the game? The plan was created to make routes effective without substantial new money. Create plans for scenarios with and without considerable federal dollars.
- Advocate at the DART Board for public transit that is more frequent, reliable, and free, and appoint a DART board member that aligns with our priorities in June 2021 and June 2022.
Make it easier for communities to design transit-friendly streets and safe roadways for all users:
- Build complete streets, fund the ADA transportation mandate, and fix sidewalk gaps. Implement anti-displacement measures alongside transit changes.
Prioritize roadway maintenance over expansion and ensure that any new road capacity meets environmental goals:
- Curb emissions and cut the maintenance backlog in half by dedicating formula highway funds to maintenance, measure GHG emissions and vehicle miles traveled (VMT) per capita on our roadways, create a competitive program for new roadway capacity, and expand funding available for highway teardowns.
Ensure a just transition that creates secure, well-paying jobs and funds training and apprenticeship programs in the transit industry:
- Provide funding for well-paying transit operator jobs, provide funding for training and apprenticeship programs, and develop challenge grant for innovative public engagement initiatives.
Create an EV incentive program weighted by income, geography, and vehicle size:
- Provide funding for research into barriers to equitable transit provision – should be most generous for people with low incomes and those less well-served by transit, should not subsidize larger and more energy-intensive vehicles.
- Encourage the development of a federal research center to bring down the high cost of construction, help local leaders get basic data for analyzing transportation access, develop pilot programs to harness the potential of new, efficient mobility services like shared e-bikes and e – setting clear goals and providing a public report on the impact of the pilot on those goals and city priorities.