Philly transportation needs a universal way to measure racial equity | Opinion

In Philadelphia, the city and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) consider equity in their transportation plans, but they lack a standard method to analyze results and sufficient coordination between entities, resulting in a fractured approach. To remedy this, the city needs a universal transportation equity measure that can be used across transportation projects. Having a universal measure can not only help to better identify vulnerable communities but establish the foundation for a coordinated citywide process for considering equity in city transportation projects…

The city of Philadelphia does not need to start from scratch. We can emulate the success of cities like Seattle, where Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation rely on a coordinated set of questions from the city’s Racial Equity Toolkit to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of transportation projects.

The Philadelphia region’s metropolitan planning organization, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), also has created an equity analysis tool for the region called the Indicators of Potential Disadvantage (IPD).