Ensuring that all residents can get from place to place easily, cheaply, and sustainably is an essential part of building a successful local Green New Deal. Shifting commuters away from cars and towards other modes of transit is vital to climate change mitigation efforts and reducing both air pollution and traffic, most of which come from private travel. Transportation justice is an important framing for repairing our transportation system; it means tackling the historic injustices that keep poor and nonwhite communities disconnected from affordable public transit options, and by extension, economic opportunity and resources. These same communities also experience disproportionately high levels of air pollution.
For many cities, reaching emissions goals will require a significant overhaul of and investment in transportation infrastructure and services, including increasing public and active transit infrastructure, recentering the needs of people in transit, supporting electrification of public transit options, ensuring connectivity for low-income and minority communities, improving the bikeability and walkability of neighborhoods, and identifying connections between transportation planning, housing policy, and education and job availability. Transit is our connection to opportunity, and to each other. Local Green New Deals are the way to ensure transit can be an essential link to reaching a sustainable, equitable future.