July 20, 2021

Contact: Judy Asman (She/her)

NATIONWIDE – The network of transit riders, community organizations, environmental groups, and labor unions responsible for organizing Transit Equity Day annually on Rosa Parks’ birthday to declare transit equity as a civil right have issued an Open Letter to Congress in support H.R. 3744, the “Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act,” drafted by Rep. Henry C. (Hank) Johnson (D: GA-04) and introduced to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in early June. Twenty-five organizations have signed on to the letter including the Amalgamated Transit Union, Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program, the Sierra Club, the NAACP Niagara Falls Branch, Central Florida Climate Action, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, and the Labor Network for Sustainability.

“We see transit equity as a civil right, workers’ right and climate-justice issue; and are committed to ensuring equitable access to public transit throughout the United States. Expanding public transit can help combat the causes of climate change and also fight economic injustice by providing greater accessibility in marginalized communities and ample training and job growth for transit workers,” the letter says. It adds:

“H.R. 3744, would authorize $20 billion annually from fiscal years 2023 through 2026 in  operating assistance to transit agencies to improve frequencies, extend service hours, or add new high-frequency transit service. It also aims to prioritize that service to  disadvantaged communities, areas of persistent poverty, and places with inadequate transit services.

“Workers and communities need better access to affordable, reliable public transit to meet essential needs and to help address climate disruption. Our economy will not grow without it. Communities of color will continue to be disproportionately left behind—today, people of color comprise 60 percent of transit ridership. Transit workers will continue to shoulder the pressures that come with  infrequent bus service, lack of safety in transition beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, and possible job loss when new technologies are implemented  without proper worker training. The Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act will not single-handedly ensure transit equity; however, it is a critical step in securing a more reliable, safe, and frequent transit future for communities across the country.”

Full List of Signatories

  1. Amalgamated Transit Union
  2. Businesses for a Livable Climate
  3. Buffalo Transit Riders United (BTRU) / Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ)
  4. Call to Action Colorado
  5. California Businesses for a Livable Climate
  6. Catholic Network U.S.
  7. Central Florida Climate Action
  8. Clevelanders for Public Transit
  9. Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate
  10. Colorado Small Business Coalition
  11. Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program
  12. Labor Network for Sustainability
  13. MARTA Army
  14. NAACP Niagara Falls Branch
  15. North Rage Concerned Citizens
  16. Philly Transit Riders Union
  17. Pittsburghers for Public Transit
  18. Rapid Shift Network
  19. Sierra Club
  20. Spirit of the Sun
  21. Survive & Thrive, LLC
  22. Transit Riders of the United States Together (TRUST)
  23. The Green House Connection Center
  24. Unite North Metro Denver
  25. Wall of Women

About the Transit Equity Network
Since 2018, the Transit Equity Network, an alliance of transit/transport unions, community organizations, environmental groups and transit riders, has organized in the interest of saving public transit. Having started with a national day of action on Rosa Parks’ birthday–known as Transit Equity Day to declare public transportation as a civil right–the Network connects Ms. Parks’ act of nonviolent resistance to the rights of all people to high-quality public transportation run on clean/renewable energy. The Network organizes year-round to advocate for adequate funding to support safe, reliable, equitable and environmentally clean transit systems. Learn more at