You may not think of transportation as a venue for pro-democracy activism, but it’s essential. Transit is, so often, where people encounter politics in a tangible way. From late buses to potholes to gas prices, the difficulty of getting where you need to go continues to drive voter dissatisfaction. In many cities, partisan division blocks the achievement of transit goals that could serve everyone.
Fixing transportation can address a whole host of goals — on climate, public health, urban planning, housing, and more. And public transport is an important “third place” for people to come together — buses, trains, light rail, and subways are places for everyone. The slowly unfolding disaster at Boeing has revealed just how costly deferring to private profit can be. It’s no time to let tech firms continue reinventing the bus.
Interested and want to know more about how to advocate for the transportation future you deserve? A free virtual training session is designed as a starting point for those looking to get started in transit activism, so if you have ideas about improving transport in your town and you’re interested in knowing more about how to turn those ideas into action and from there into practical solutions, this may be for you.
Carter Lavin is an activist involved in the effort to link bus and rail systems in the San Francisco Bay Area; he’s conducted similar training sessions for over a decade, focusing on climate and transport issues around the Bay Area. To find out more about his work, listen to this interview with Streetsblog.
Hayden Clarkin is founder of the TransitCon virtual transit conference, and is a transportation engineer focusing on digital outreach. He’s best known outside of transit circles as The Transit Guy (and as an occasional thorn in the side of private jet owners).
Free Transit Activism Training: How to make your transit fantasies reality
Feb 21, 2024 08:30 PM Eastern
An American high-speed rail network; robust regional rail service throughout your state; reliable, abundant transit options in your town. They might feel like fantasies but all of these are possible. You can help make your transit fantasies a reality when you politically organize and fight for them.
In this training you will learn:
There’s a huge range of transit solutions to your area’s transportation problems
That your transit fantasies aren’t just technically possible, they’re likely cheaper than the status quo
How to roughly evaluate the technical feasibility of different transit changes to see if they fit your geography
How to get started building political power
How to flex your political power to get local and state elected officials to take your transit demands seriously
Registration is free. Send questions to Carter@carterlavin.com.
Hayden Clarkin (@the_transit_guy) is a transportation engineer and planner collaborating with transit agencies, startups, and advocates to leverage social media strategies and turn innovative ideas into reality.
Carter Lavin (@CarterLavin) is a climate activist in Oakland, California who trains organizations and individuals to more effectively build political power, hone strategy, and win campaigns on the local, regional, and state level. Learn more at www.carterlavin.com.
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Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post
This post was originally published on The.Ink.