In January of 2020, when George Floyd was still alive, before the pandemic struck and our transportation systems were saved by the majority Black and Brown essential workers who continued to risk their lives to perform their jobs, Remix, TransForm and Elemental Excelerator joined forces to ask: what role can transportation planning software play to move the needle on equity across Remix’s 350+ transit agency and DOT customers?
We embarked on an intentionally collaborative project. We interviewed dozens of cities and transit agencies, surveyed equity advocates across the country, and came together to produce product designs. Throughout product development, we held reviews with our equity advocate collaborators.
In the end we determined three key things:
1. Technology plays a small[but important] role in the work that needs to be done to bring about mobility justice.
2. Technology can accelerate processes like data analysis, which keep planners behind their desks, and increase barriers to entry for people without planning degrees.
3. Equity is not a singular definition and is context sensitive. Equity tools should not limit users to a regional view, but be flexible enough to reflect a community-defined geography.
Together, we developed two incredible pieces of work to respond to these needs. First, working with advocates and policy experts Destiny Thomas, Ndid Love, Tamika Butler, Jamario Jackson, Hayley Currier, Clarrissa Cabasagan, Hana Creger and Leslie Aguayo, we developed the following brief for planners who wish to perform more equitably in the transportation planning work.
Second, we co-developed Remix’s Breakdown Tables, to accelerate the pace of demographic analysis for grants, performing social impact analysis, and understanding of who a project serves, while leaving more time for community engagement.
We could not have imagined the events of 2020 and the spotlight these events shined on the historic and continued harms our Black and Brown community members face every day on our streets. This document is a powerful call to action for the planners looking to make a change in their communities both with or without technology. It is the culmination of a collaborative process never before tried in the TransitTech space, and we hope you give it a thorough read.
Special thanks to all of our project partners listed below:
Stef Brodie, Toole Design Group
Chris Kidd, SFMTA
Laura Stuchinsky, City of San Jose
Lilly O’Brien-Kovari, LADOT
Julieth Ortiz, OakDOT
Noel Pond-Danchik, OakDOT
Manuel Corona, OakDOT
Sarah Strand, City of West Sacramento
Monica Munowitch, SFMTA
Katie Wittman. City of Toronto
Tosin Abiodun, PBOT
Tamika Butler, Tamika Butler LLC https://www.tamikabutler.com/
Destiny Thomas, Thrivance Group
Ndidi Love, Thrivance Group
Hayley Currier, TransForm
Jamario Jackson, TransForm
Clarrissa Cabansagan, TransForm
Hana Creger, Greenlining
Leslie Aguyo, Greenlining
In honor of Women’s History Month, Via and Remix organized the Women in TransitTech Summit 2021, featuring an all-female panel of transportation technology innovators. They share their key insights here.