Black American households are up to six times less likely to own a car than white families and are four times more likely to rely on public transportation to meet their daily needs. Despite this, communities of color have seen consistent disinvestment in their transit infrastructure. Four hundred years of continued housing segregation combined with post-recession austerity policies and ongoing pro-automobile bias has exacerbated this disparity. This Note proposes a straightforward legislative tool to begin to combat this inequity. The proposed legislation would require that urbanized areas spend their public transit dollars according to the population density of the communities a given project would serve, create reporting requirements related to the racial and economic impact of transit projects, and establish a private right of action. In proposing this legislation, this Note evaluates the state of civil rights litigation as it pertains to transportation racism and draws lessons from other areas such as environmental law in order to put forth a simple solution that would have tangible effects across the country in both the short and long term.
A Fare Share: A Proposed Solution to Address the Racial Disparity in Access to Public Transportation Funding in America,
Mich. J. Race & L.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mjrl/vol26/iss2/6