Connecting the Dots Between Transportation and Public Health
The U.S. has over 136 million cars, 110 million trucks, and about 1 million buses for a total of 247 million registered vehicles accounting for nearly 70 percent of our oil use and more than 65 percent of that amount is for personal vehicles. This accounts for almost one-third of the world’s vehicles. Car ownership is almost universal in the United States with 91.7 percent of American households owning at least one motor vehicle. According to the 2001 National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), 87.6 percent of whites, 83.1 percent of Asians and Hispanics, and 78.9 percent of blacks rely on the private car to get around.
Climate Justice Benefits of Dismantling Energy and Transportation Apartheid
Climate change is a major global environmental justice issue of our times. Electric power generations and transportation account for nearly three-fourths (73.8 percent) of the CO2 emissions in the United States annually. Getting these two major greenhouse gas sources under control would go a long way in the fight against climate change and move us closer to achieving environmental justice.
A Call for Transportation Justice Now!
A 2010 poll from Transportation for America found 82 percent of American voters say that "the United States would benefit from an expanded and improved transportation system," including rail and buses. A 2012 Natural Resources Defense Council poll found 66 percent of Americans want more funds allocated to public transportation. The survey also found 59 percent of Americans believe the current U.S. public transportation system is "outdated, unreliable and inefficient." All transportation is not created equal. Clearly, transportation remains a major civil rights issue in the twenty-first century.