APTA board passes racial equality plan

Posted: 10 May 2021 | | No comments yet

APTA says its plan aims to create “truly transformational” change within the transit industry, as it looks to employ “explicitly anti-racist” policies.

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The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Board of Directors has approved the association’s Racial Equity Action Plan, a product of APTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and Racial Equity Working Group.

The Racial Equity Action Plan aims to create what the association has called “truly transformational change” within the transit industry and support the planning and operations of public transportation services from a racial equity and mobility justice perspective through explicitly anti-racist policies and ideas. It is part of a broader effort to proactively create and maintain a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment within the association and across the industry.

“This action plan is a priority for APTA and is a part of APTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and a widescale effort to ensure that social and racial justice are woven into our practices,” said Jeff Nelson, APTA Chair and General Manager, Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK), Moline, Illinois.

“For APTA members representing the transit industry from both the public and private sectors, this means making sure that transit is central to the protection and restoration of community; that we take this moment to transform underserved communities’ access to resources and opportunities; that everyone has a fair and just means of mobility; and that we engage with our workforce and our transit ridership in a way that is culturally sensitive, authentic and responsive.”

 “APTA is showing bold leadership with the release of its Racial Equity Action Plan. The plan ensures that APTA and its members have the tools to implement and measure programs geared to addressing racial inequities,” added Adelee LeGrand, CEO, Hillsborough Area Transit Authority, Tampa, Florida, and First Vice Chair of APTA’s Diversity and Inclusion Council.

“It is imperative that APTA and the transit industry reassess our role and responsibility with regard to racial equity and acknowledge that we can and must do more,” added APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas.

“As an association, this means supporting our members with tools to measure and recognize progress on racial equity, provide leadership in educational programming and resources, support workforce development from a racial equity perspective and leverage our advocacy tools and partnerships.”

As part of the ongoing Racial Equity Action Plan, APTA says it is supporting its members by launching a monthly member-only webinar series, Kaleidoscope, to encourage “courageous conversations”, share best practices and support one another as they address and advance their efforts regarding systemic racial and social inequities.