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U.S. Department of Transportation Releases 2023 Equity Action Plan Update

U.S. Department of Transportation Releases 2023 Equity Action Plan Update

WASHINGTON – Today, as part of an administration-wide effort, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT or the Department) published the 2023 update of the DOT Equity Action Plan (the Plan). The plan is a part of the Department’s implementation of Executive Order 14091 – “Further Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.” 

“The Biden-Harris administration believes that transportation can be a powerful engine of opportunity – and that’s why we have made it a priority to bring good infrastructure to all communities including those who have not fairly benefited from past infrastructure investments,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The U.S. Department of Transportation is proud to outline progress we’ve made and further actions we are taking this year to bring the benefits and jobs of transportation to all Americans, whether they live in a big city, a rural community, or anywhere in between.” 

The 2023 update of the DOT Equity Action Plan outlines new actions DOT is committing to across the following five focus areas: Wealth Creation; Power of Community; Proactive Intervention, Planning, and Capacity Building; Expanding Access; and Institutionalizing Equity. The highlighted actions are efforts DOT is undertaking to address key disparities, including disproportionately high traffic fatality rates among Black people and Tribal communities, high transportation insecurity and cost burdens experienced by low-income households and rural communities, and underrepresentation of Black-, Hispanic-, and women-owned small businesses receiving DOT direct contracts. The document also features dozens of recent accomplishments across each focus area since the publication of DOT’s first Equity Action Plan in 2022, including:  

  • Wealth Creation: OST issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to modernize the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession DBE (ACDBE) program regulations to help level playing fields for small, disadvantaged businesses (July 2022) 
  • Power of Community: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a final rule updating the Uniform State Highway Safety Grant Program to require NHTSA grant recipients to conduct meaningful public engagement among affected communities. 
  • Proactive Intervention Planning and Capacity Building: Through the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Program, DOT has awarded $185 million to disadvantaged communities and published a joint FY 23 NOFO that makes up to $3.16 billion available for community-centered connection (February, July 2023). 
  • Expanding Access: Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced 15 projects in 9 states that will receive approximately $686 million under the new All Stations Accessibility Program (December 2022). 
  • Institutionalizing Equity: DOT hosted a Department-wide equity summit for DOT employees, organized by the DOT Equity Community of Practice to share best practices to advance equity (June 2023). 

The 2023 update to the DOT Equity Action Plan was informed by feedback collected through internal and external engagement activities, including a public request for information, and public in-person and virtual meetings. The DOT Equity Council – a group of more than 30 modal leaders and career staff from across the Department and chaired by the Secretary of Transportation – guided the process to update the Equity Action Plan as part of the broader DOT effort to address historical and systemic patterns of disparity in transportation.  

The document will be updated on an annual basis to reflect new metrics and actions DOT will be taking to ensure that all communities receive the benefits that transportation brings and are not left out or made to shoulder disproportionate burdens caused by transportation infrastructure. Stay up to date with DOT’s equity work at https://www.transportation.gov/priorities/equity. 

In addition to the 2023 update to the Equity Action Plan, DOT is also releasing the Transportation Data and Equity Hub (Hub), a one-stop-shop to find tools, metrics, and data to analyze transportation access and the impacts of the transportation system on communities. Users can explore data, maps, and other visualizations of equity-related data by visiting the Explore the Data, Variable Explorer, or Tools, Maps and Apps pages. Users can also utilize this Hub to make their own maps using free data and tools provided by DOT.  

Learn more about the Administration’s equity work at whitehouse.gov/equity and find all Federal Equity Action Plans at performance.gov/equity

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Official news published at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/us-department-transportation-releases-2023-equity-action-plan-update

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