RELATED TOPICS: Vision Zero, Health, Community Engagement

Historically, many low-income communities and underserved populations have been left out of conversations about transportation planning and this has led to unsafe conditions where pedestrians and bicyclists are over-represented in crashes. An equitable transportation system fosters fairness and helps facilitate access to opportunities for all community members. Equity can be considered both a process and an outcome. To achieve transportation equity, and transportation justice, communities must engage in inclusionary, authentic outreach to address underlying disparities of mobility and access and prioritize equity during all stages of the planning and implementation process. This involves building an accessible, affordable, and reliable transportation network that effectively serves all people. Discriminatory enforcement of traffic laws is a form of transportation inequity.

Transportation equity requires understanding the unique needs and safety concerns of different populations and providing the appropriate amount of resources to each group. Numerous studies have shown that enhancing the ability of traditionally underserved populations to travel via nonmotorized modes can potentially lead to improved outcomes in public health, safety, and economic development; promote economic development and resource efficiency; strengthen inclusive neighborhood relations; and bolster public transit services. Benefits of an equitable transportation system positively impact the entire community.


Design Justice Network provides a set of principles that help rethink design processes so that they center on people who are too often marginalized by design.

Black Space Manifesto offers inclusive process guidance with a focus on centering and amplifying Black voices.

Standards and Procedures for Black Planners provides support for Black planners and offers guidelines for working with communities and within the planning field.

Transportation, Race and Equity: A Syllabi Resource List for Faculty compiles readings and resources that focus on transportation planning and engineering while addressing issues of racism, equity, and justice.

Pursuing Equity in Pedestrian and Bicycle Planning provides an overview of transportation equity, nonmotorized transportation options for traditionally underserved populations, and strategies for improving equity for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Mobility Equity Framework lays out a framework for addressing the structural inequities in the transportation system from the perspective of an emerging green economy.

A Look at Cutting Edge Research Related to Equity and Active Transportation highlights findings from a series of recently published research aimed at exploring various facets of equity in active travel.

Evaluating Transportation Equity examines methods for understanding and evaluating equity in transportation planning to ensure equitable distribution of transportation resources.

Bicycle Justice and Urban Transformation compiles essays and articles which focus on equity in bicycle advocacy, planning, and policymaking.

More Resources >



America Walks Social Justice Toolkit provides tools and resources to consider equity and mitigate disparities by working towards healthy, productive walking environments for everybody.

Confronting Power and Privilege for Inclusive, Equitable, and Healthy Communities calls for all in the transportation practice to examine and shift power in planning, building, advocating, and policymaking.

Breaking Down Barriers to Bicycling in the U.S. reports research on barriers to bicycling in 10 US cities that found a racial and gender disparity in bicycle use and perception, a lack of inclusive representation and community input in infrastructure planning, an inequitable distribution of infrastructure and, in some cases, the association of bike lanes with gentrification.

Better Bike Share Partnership focuses on sharing best practices for building more equitable bike share systems for replication in other cities. This report from the Breaking Barriers to Bike Share series contains an overview of equity policies in bike share systems.

The Untokening Collective works towards mobility justice in project implementation, planning, and public engagement.

Fear: A Silent Barrier to Bicycling in Black and Hispanic Communities discusses personal safety considerations as a barrier to bicycling in Black and Hispanic communities.

Equity Analysis in Regional Transportation Planning Processes, Volume 1: Guide provides an equity analysis framework for regional planning.

More Examples >