The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) promotes equity, embraces diversity, and models inclusivity through its service delivery, internal operations, organizational culture and in its work with partners and the community. We know that the best decisions are those made in collaboration with the people who use and rely on the transportation system, especially with those most burdened by our transportation inequities. In our work over the next two years, we will specifically engage with those communities who have historically been under-represented in our decision making processes.
PBOT has a brand new five-year racial equity plan. This plan is the result of a comprehensive one-year assessment that, on the one hand, carefully analyzed PBOT’s efforts over the last ten years to advanced racial equity. The assessment also examined how we want to accelerate and expand our efforts in this area over the next five years. Over the course of this assessment, we recognized that eliminating racial disparities in transportation will require very strategic internally facing and externally facing strategies.
Transportation equity is a civil and human rights priority, and it’s a PBOT priority. Access to affordable and reliable transportation widens opportunity and is essential to addressing poverty, unemployment, and other equal opportunity goals such as access to good schools and health care services. However, current transportation spending programs do not equally benefit all communities and populations. PBOT recognizes this, and has begun to perform equity audits of many of our programs, so that we can begin to make policy shifts that bend the arc towards justice. The negative effects of some transportation decisions, such as the disruption of many low-income neighborhoods, are broadly felt and have long-lasting effects. Providing equal access to transportation means providing all individuals living in Portland, and in the United States, with an equal opportunity to succeed.
PBOT is updating our American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan, to map out a plan to address, and ultimately fix, all of our infrastructure and programmatic disparities, in order to achieve full access and inclusion for everyone.