U.S. DOT releases 2023 update on Equity Action Plan

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On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released its update on the DOT Equity Action Plan.

The plan, part of the department’s implementation of President Joe Biden’s executive order advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities, outlines how the department can take to address disparities in underrepresented communities.

“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,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. “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 DOT’s report outlined new actions taken by the department to address those disparities, including: a notice of proposed rulemaking that modernized the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) and Airport Concession DBE (ACDBE) programs; a final rule issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration updating the Uniform State Highway Safety Grant Program to require meaningful public engagement; the awarding of $185 million in Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods (RCN) Program grants to disadvantaged communities; $686million in new projects within the Federal Transit Administration under the All Stations Accessibility Program; and a department-wide equity summit for DOT employees to share best practices to advance equity.

Officials said the document would continue to be updated on an annual basis to reflect new metrics and actions the DOT takes to further equity across all communities.