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“Equity” in Transportation Means Less, Not More

Updated: Sep 6, 2022

Excerpt from The Antiplanner | July 22, 2022

Transit is the most inequitable form of transportation we have because most of the taxes used to subsidize it are regressive and less than 5 percent of low-income workers rely on transit to get to work. That means 95 percent of low-income workers are disproportionately paying for transit rides they aren’t taking.

Telling low-income people to rely on transit while high-income people drive cars is also inequitable because cars are so much more efficient, costing less and getting people to destinations much faster. The real issue transportation equity is that about 7 million low-income households lack access to an automobile. Those who sincerely care about equity should devote less effort to transit and more towards getting more low-income people into cars.

If the $64 billion spent subsidizing transit in 2020 were spent on helping low-income people buy cars, it would have been enough to give every carless low-income family more than $9,000 towards a car. I don’t advocate that, but for a lot less money we could give people low-interest loans to buy a car, thus giving them access to the same economic opportunities that everyone else has. (Read the entire article here)

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