INVEST in America Act Includes Wilson Legislation to Re-establish Federal Committee to Promote Transportation Equity
Washington DC – The Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act passed by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee includes the Transportation Equity Act introduced by Congresswoman Frederica S. Wilson to re-establish the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity within the Department of Transportation. This committee would be comprised of community, academic, and government stakeholders to advise the Transportation secretary on policies to promote equity through community engagement and interagency collaboration. The INVEST in America Act will soon advance to the House floor.
Congresswoman Wilson has been a vocal proponent of transportation equity because transportation policies and investment have historically decimated marginalized and underserved communities by severing access to basic services, resources, and economic opportunities. Equitable transportation efforts help to revitalize urban, rural, and underserved areas by serving the unique needs of these communities.
“Inequitable transportation policies and funding have exacerbated long-standing systemic disparities in marginalized communities, especially in District 24. The Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity will give leverage to stakeholders from these communities to craft real solutions to address issues that impact constituents every day,” said to Congresswoman Wilson.
The Florida lawmaker also successfully included other equity measures in the INVEST in America Act to provide access to reliable public transportation to HBCUs, minority serving institutions, and community colleges; ensure that HBCUs and MSIs are considered for participation in the newly created University Climate Innovation program to research low- and zero-emission rail technologies; and prioritize highway-rail grade crossing projects in low-income communities which often experience a disproportionate number of safety-related incidents.
“It is important to underscore the intersectionality of transportation equity issues, as water, health, housing, transportation, and community safety are all markers of healthy communities of opportunity and are all reliant on equitable infrastructure investments and strategies,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “The advisory committee would be a fundamental accountability body that could drive intentional cross-agency engagement.”