Massive Investment in Public Transit Needed to Achieve Racial Equity, Climate Justice

Interview with Libero Della Piana, leader of the National Campaign for Transit Justice, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Across the United States, greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change from the transportation sector average about 30 percent of the total. In some states like Connecticut, it’s closer to 40 percent and in California the average is about 50 percent. The transportation sector is also rife with inequities, as people with enough money can drive their own cars, while lower-income residents must rely on public transit. In almost all cases, public transit systems are underfunded, inconvenient to use and often don’t go to all destinations where riders need to go.

The National Campaign for Transit Justice, part of the group Just Strategy, is addressing these issues by supporting organizing around racial and economic justice issues. They believe when people can count on the bus or train to get where they need to go, they can easily access jobs, education, medical care, culture, goods and services.

Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Libero della Piana, senior strategist with Just Strategy and leader of the National Campaign for Transit Justice. Here he talks about the major challenges mass transit has faced during the coronavirus pandemic and why there’s an urgent need for massive investment in public transit to achieve racial equity and climate justice.

For more information, visit the National Campaign for Transit Justice at transitjustice.org and Just Strategy at juststrategy.org.

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