“Our School for Transportation Reform taught me that although we all come from different cities, the same issues regarding transportation unite us.” – Maritza, YLI Youth Leader, South San Francisco
Congratulations to the Youth Leadership Institute San Mateo County Office for holding our very first School for Public Transportation Reform on Saturday, March 5th, 2016!
Youth leaders from Half Moon Bay and South San Francisco are working to improve access to public transportation. Currently they are researching in urban and rural communities barriers to action. They will then present their research and recommendations to local and regional decision-makers. The School was held in partnership with Urban Habitat and Get Healthy San Mateo County.
The day began with youth identifying issues that they experience on a day-to-today basis on public transportation. Youth identified barriers to transportation including: affordability; safety; sanitation; a lack of consistency; the confusion of taking different modes of transit; the impacts on stress levels and emotional and physical health; and the effect on employment (options) and academic excellence.
Thank you to Bob Allen, Policy Director of Urban Habitat, for piquing our fascination by providing the historical context for our current transportation systems.
Now we know that:
- We still see the impact of redlining policies today
- Highways were planned as airplane landing strips for the Cold War
- Rosa Parks’ refusal to move in her bus seat was part of a larger organized action
We also learned about financial accessibility and how it influences people’s use of public transportation, and how that translates into demographics of who takes the bus and trains. Price heavily influences which transportation methods low income communities decided to take. San Mateo County youth are starting to define their work as an outgrowth of efforts in San Francisco, where youth successfully campaigned to receive free Muni youth passes.
We look forward to supporting our youth leaders as they spearhead amazing work in Public Transportation Reform!
“At the School for Public Transportation Reform, I realized that even though I come from a smaller town, both urban and rural youth face similar issues when it comes to accessing different methods of transportation” – Leticia, YLI Youth Leader, Half Moon Bay