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50 years ago, the Department of Transportation was created. Sparking a long list of regulations and laws. This isn’t all bad though because 52 years ago the civil rights act was also enacted. Even though they don’t seem connected they still are. For better or for worse transportation has always been a part of civil rights.
For example Rosa Parks, Plessy v. Ferguson, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the list goes on.
We as American’s eventually made transportation inclusive and desegregated buses and trains. To celebrate 50 years of transportation authority, the DOT is marking 2016 as their “Year of Opportunity.” The DOT has made it an obligation of theirs to ensure that people and communities are connected through transportation.
Transport is the heart of our economy. It determines what jobs people can get, how long people can work for, and how often they can be home with their families. If you saw my other post about what would happen if the transportation industry just came to a halt. Check out the Truckpocalypse.
The change of the DOT’s Focus
For decades the DOT has mainly focused on, “System performance, structural capacity, and how efficiently (they) moved people from point A to point B.” Their focus has been surrounding this above objective without any regards to the citizens and communities needs of transportation between suburbs and commercial downtown. According to them, 2016 is the year that this is going to change.
The DOT is putting these measures into place
Implementing new infrastructure such as Bikeshare programs
In Denver, the DOT is supporting a Workforce Initiative to help local employers in the transit and construction industries meet hiring needs.
In Pittsburgh, the Allegheny County plan to cap over I-579 to help restore access to downtown Pittsburgh and create private development.
In Richmond, they are creating a Bus Rapid Transit line between the city and Henrico County providing transport to 77,000 employment opportunities.
Secretary Foxx, COO of the DOT, is ensuring that all employees are contributing from the top to the bottom.
The DOT claim that this is going to be a great year for the US and for improving transportation. I am still going to sit here to wait and see. I’m curious if our tax funds will actually help improve transportation in a good way and not go to waste, but I digress. In the mean time check out the Opportunity Website
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