The importance of transportation – how it’s connected to a solid economy and can be improved to address racial inequities – will be among the topics organizers plan to discuss at the Northeast Multimodal Transit Summit on tap for Monday.
The theme of this year’s event is “Moving Forward: Greener, Safer, and Together.”
This year’s summit will be particularly timely in light of Gov. Ned Lamont’s announcement this week that he will not pursue legislative approval for the Transportation and Climate Initiative – a cap-and-trade program that would require fuel sellers to buy allowances for pollution resulting from vehicle exhaust.
“Between today and Monday, we will see what the situation is and how to move forward,” said Thomas Regan-Lefebvre, coordinator of the Transport Hartford Academy at the Center for Latino Progress, regarding TCI, of which he is a proponent.
Among the topics to be discussed at the virtual summit will be how to address racial inequities in transportation and pollution. A panel is scheduled to discuss pollution levels in the Northeast region, which tend to affect those least responsible for it, organizers said.
The event will include perspectives from a range of backgrounds such as grassroots organizers to lawmakers from both the state and national levels.
The keynote speakers are Seleta Reynolds, general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, and Nuria Fernandez, administrator at the Federal Transit Administration.
“She (Reynolds) has been working on transforming the city to be more pedestrian and cyclist friendly,” Regan-Lefebvre said.
A panel will discuss how to get various communities involved in work being done through the White House Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which includes plans to rebuild the country’s roads, bridges, and rail systems.
Other discussion topics include transportation in rural areas, policing and traffic enforcement for safer streets, and access to transportation for those with reduced mobility.
Regan-Lefebvre said that having multimodal transportation and transit are important in terms of creating jobs and bringing communities together.
“This is why we want lawmakers there,” Regan-Lefebvre said. “We want them to hear.”
Visit here for a full list of panels and speakers and to register. The cost of registration for the event ranges from free – for students and those with lower incomes – to $45. The program runs from 11 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 22.
This story was underwritten by the Transport Hartford Academy at the Center for Latino Progress in Hartford. Underwriting is payment for journalism without the story being pre-approved by the underwriter.