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Racism has been overt in transportation. For example, the segregation of races on intercity trains led to the infamous 1896 Plessy v. Ferguson “separate but equal” Supreme Court doctrine that stood for more than half a century. While many discriminatory policies have been reversed by the courts and in constitutional amendments, their impacts on society have not been fully remedied and persist.

TRB’s Racial Equity Addendum to Critical Issues in Transportation is intended to be a step in the process of identifying and building a research agenda for transportation that will help to more fully identify and address inequities and injustices caused and contributed to by transportation. While some equity-related issues were identified in Critical Issues in Transportation 2019, the topic was not discussed in depth. In response to the candid and critical national dialogue on racial equity in 2020 and 2021, this addendum tackles racial equity exclusively and with additional consciousness about its transportation dimensions

The report covers research topics ranging from access to automobiles and public transit; institutional issues in decision making, planning, and public participation; land use and affordable housing; displacement and redlining; Native American transportation issues; and more.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Racial Equity Addendum to Critical Issues in Transportation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

20 pages |  8.5 x 11 |  DOI:

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