Transit cuts, bus drivers inadequately protected, and a lack of options for rural communities without a car are the outcomes of decades-long investment into highways rather than in public transit. This has created a deeply inequitable transportation system leaving many urban and rural frontline communities without access to reliable, affordable, and equitable transportation. The development of highways has created unhealthy air for marginalized communities whose neighborhoods were torn apart due to highway projects, and it fuels the climate crisis as the largest sector of greenhouse gas emissions. We must reprioritize our transportation system if we want to actualize a Just Transition. Transportation is also a massive living-wage job creator and expanding and improving our transit systems would create millions of new jobs in a Regenerative Economy.

This is one of the Policy Planks of the United Frontline Table’s toolkit A People’s Orientation to a Regenerative Economy. The policy planks are one of three tools in the kit, together with series of Strategy Questions and the Protect, Repair, Invest, and Transform Framework. Make sure the check out the section on How to Use This Resource to Enhance Your Work and the Working Definitions.

Policy Stances and Priorities



No more “Smart Growth” Development

Require stipulations that any public funding for transportation be met with local planning ordinances to ensure against gentrification and family displacement.




No more Highway Capacity Expansion

Stop investing in highway-centric transportation projects for single-occupancy vehicles that come at the expense of mass transit. Strengthen protections and community decision-making processes regarding transit projects especially in frontline communities who have borne the disproportionate burden of pollution.




Rural Public Transit

Invest in connection and public transit in rural communities, including electric vehicles (EV) where needed and community-owned EV infrastructure.




Urban Public Transit

Invest in mass transit that is free or low-cost, renewable, sustainable, and regional, with zero displacement.





Support EV infrastructure and vehicle deployment, after investments in equitable and sustainable mass transit are developed and deployed.