At PennDOT, we are paying special attention to exploring solutions that will reduce inequities in our system, build resilience against future disruptions, improve safety, and support both environmental and financial sustainability.
Race and transportation have long been intertwined, whether it be federally funded highways that isolated minority communities, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus boycott, or segregated streetcars and trolleys. The nation's infrastructure investments have impacted generations of people of color, and it's PennDOT's responsibility to not only be experts of our transportation system itself but also in the challenges and inequities that our system perpetuates as we integrate new solutions and plan for future investments.
Creating and supporting a quality transportation system that works for everyone is at the center of the department's mission, and PennDOT is committed to the ongoing work that this requires.
Dismantling Systemic Racism and Inequities Report
In 2020, PennDOT convened the Dismantling Systemic Racism and Inequities (DSRI) Working Group, which includes staff from across PennDOT. The DSRI Working Group was charged with assessing PennDOT's diversity and inclusion efforts, better understanding structural racism in transportation generally, and evaluating programs and initiatives that could help with these issues.
The DSRI Working Group's efforts culminated in the PennDOT Dismantling Systemic Racism and Inequities 2021 report (PDF), which discussed how PennDOT can achieve greater equity in the areas of contracting, public involvement, community investment, our boards and commissions, and of course, our own internal culture at the department.