What is transportation equity & mobility justice?

Transportation Equity is the goal of ensuring that all community members have their needs met by the transportation systems available to them.

More on transportation equity from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration: "A central goal of transportation is to facilitate social and economic opportunities by providing equitable levels of access to affordable and reliable transportation options based on the needs of the populations being served, particularly populations that are traditionally underserved. Under Executive Order 13985 Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities (2021), the term 'equity' means the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals, including individuals who belong to underserved communities that have been denied such treatment, such as Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality. It is important to note that transportation equity does not mean equal. An equitable transportation plan considers the circumstances impacting a community’s mobility and connectivity needs, and this information is used to determine the measures needed to develop an equitable transportation network."

Mobility Justice is the goal of ensuring that all people feel safe existing on their streets and can enjoy full freedom of movement regardless of elements of their identity. Mobility justice advocates often describe this goal as reaching beyond car-based violence like traffic fatalities. For example, when describing the work of activist and author Adonia Lugo, StreetsBlog Chicago journalist Lynda Lopez noted that "mobility justice is about acknowledging gender-based harassment and violence on the streets, the fear immigrants may feel existing on the street, economic insecurity, criminalization of black and brown people, and so many nuances based on the lived experiences of marginalized residents." (Adonia Lugo's book is featured below.)

Find Books

For books, search for full titles or keywords in HOLLIS, Harvard's library catalog.

When you've found a relevant book, click on the linked subject terms in the book's record or scroll all the way down the page to the "Shelf View" to find related books.

For help with HOLLIS, see the HOLLIS User Guide.

Resource Highlight: Reimagining Community Safety: Reducing Racial Disparities by Removing Police from Traffic Enforcement with Sarah Seo (11/17/21)

Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at HKS's Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy organized a speaker series on Reimagining Community Safety to explore the roots of policing and its disproportionate impact on people of color, why reforms have generally failed, what different approaches to community safety could look like, the ongoing efforts around the U.S. to enact those approaches, and how to evaluate the outcome of those efforts. The series was led and moderated by Sandra Susan Smith, Daniel & Florence Guggenheim Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Director of the Program in Criminal Justice Policy and Management at HKS.

This featured conversation on traffic enforcement is with Sarah Seo, Professor of Law at Columbia University and author of Policing the Open Road: How Cars Transformed American Freedom (included in the book slider above). Seo and Smith discuss racial disparities in traffic stops and arrests, nationwide efforts to decriminalize driving-while-Black, and the possibility of removing civil traffic law enforcement from police duties.

Find Articles & Reports

Find Data