Reliable Transportation

orange rectangle over two orange circles, signifying a car or bus

All people need high-quality transportation to reach resources and services, but communities and populations don’t have equal transportation access. Accessible, reliable, and safe transportation connects people to health care, work, learning, social activities, and civic engagement opportunities. Inaccessible public transit strands residents who rely on rides — including older adults and people with disabilities. In addition, a lack of transit options, particularly at off-peak hours, means people who work alternate schedules often have no safe or affordable way to get between work and home.   

Transportation infrastructure that provides access to key services and supports the needs of people with the most limited mobility access is crucial. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated regional differences in transportation access and increased the urgency to use sustained, robust infrastructure resources to create inclusive community prosperity through environmentally friendly transportation. However, many communities remain underserved by transit services.   

Transportation diversity continues to expand exponentially, leveraging technology, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit to improve access, health, and environmental sustainability. Developing and maintaining trust in the reliability, safety, and value of transportation options is a critical component to community access, diversity of choice, and use. Giving communities the opportunity to bring together dynamic resources to achieve their transportation goals may also address economic, health, and human service needs and challenges.  

Reliable Transportation includes:  

  • Active transport  
  • Nearby necessities  
  • Efficient energy use  
  • Safe transport  
  • Few environmental hazards  
“Every transportation decision is inherently, in many ways, a decision about equity. That is one of the reasons we are building equity into our grant criteria and strengthening our disadvantaged business enterprise program. But all the money in the world is not going to make a difference if it does not go to the right places. ...We want to ensure that transportation policy is a powerful tool in the service of fairness and equity.”

— Pete Buttigieg, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Key Statistics

  • More than 25 million Americans have disabilities that make traveling outside the home difficult. 
  • In 2018, accidents involving motor vehicles killed almost 37,000 people. 
  • Americans spend an average of $9,000 on transportation each year, which is more than the $7,200 they spend on food and nearly as much as the $10,300 they spend on health care.