When inequities in transportation create barriers to opportunity, access, and full participation in the life of the community, people of faith must respond.
One of Gamaliel’s projects is the Transportation Equity Network (TEN), a grassroots network of more than 350 community organizations in 41 states working for a more just, prosperous, and connected America though equity in transportation policy and funding.
TEN seeks to meet the challenges of current crises in the economy, energy security, and climate change by building healthy, equitable communities and providing equal public transportation access to all.
TEN’s goals include:
More transportation-related jobs for disadvantaged people;
Increased funding for mass transit;
Greater community participation in transportation planning and funding; and
Growth that is smart and equitable, serving the needs of the poor, the working class, the middle class and people of color.
Read more on the TEN website.
TEN won a commitment from Secretary of Transportation Raymond LaHood to encourage state Departments of Transportation to adopt TEN’s “Missouri Model” of workforce development nationwide.
TEN worked with Rep. Russ Carnahan to secure language in the jobs bill that passed the U.S. House on Dec. 17, 2009, to give transit authorities local control over spending priorities for up to 10 percent of the bill’s $8.4 billion in emergency public transit funding.
In January 2010, the USDOT adopted new livability-based funding guidelines for major transit projects, overturning narrow Bush-era criteria and fulfilling a longtime TEN demand.
The Congressional Black Caucus lifted up TEN’s Green Construction Careers Program and “Missouri Model” in an open letter to President Obama in December 2009.
In May 2010, the USDOT responded to calls from TEN to support transit options for the most vulnerable Americans by releasing $775 million in federal funds to help transit systems maintain and upgrade their bus systems.
In March 2010, TEN and its allies drew national media attention to transit funding crises with “Resurrect Mass Transit” rallies in eight cities.
TEN and MCU won unprecedented workforce equity requirements for Missouri’s $500 million I-64 highway project. Minority and female workers performed 26% of the workforce hours, $2.5 million were devoted to job training, and the project was finished three weeks early and $11 million under budget.
In April 2010, TEN member MCU and allies led a successful campaign in support of a ballot initiative to reinvest in transit in St. Louis city and country. Voters overwhelmingly supported the measure, which will provide $75 million a year to restore service cuts.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, TEN and allies filed a federal civil rights complaint that stopped the use of $70 million in stimulus funds for a rail project that would have violated the Civil Rights Act. Instead, the money will be used to cuts in the region’s other transit lines.
TEN member PRISCM’s work highlighting transportation inequity in the D.C. metropolitan area led to front-page coverage in the Washington Post on March 29, 2010.
In Battle Creek, Detroit, and Saginaw, MI, TEN members MOSES and EZEKIEL led a successful campaign in support of a local transit funding measure. Voters approved it by a 2:1 margin.
In August 2010, in Kansas City, MO, TEN member MORE2 secured $11 million in local transit funding over 10 years, an increase of $5 million over previous levels.
In Minnesota, TEN member ISAIAH successfully argued that a planned light rail line along the Central Corridor connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul should include three additional stops in underserved, low-income communities.