Equity

Lane County strives to provide a transportation system that is accessible to everyone. A person’s access to transportation either enables or hinders their ability to get to work, buy healthy food, see a doctor, go to school, or socialize with their community. Convenient, safe, and affordable transportation is not always available to those who need them the most.

 

The terms “equity” and “equality” are sometimes used interchangeably, which can lead to confusion. Equity is defined as trying to understand and provide disadvantaged communities with what they need to live healthy and productive lives. These needs include access to jobs, housing, and other critical services. Equity recognizes that different people experience different barriers to securing their needs. In contrast, equality aims to ensure that everyone gets the same things to live healthy and productive lives, regardless of need.

Lane County is working toward equity by considering areas with greater concentrations of disadvantaged populations, such as people of color, people with limited English proficiency, low-income families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and children. These communities are vulnerable because of poor financial, health and housing circumstances, and/or physical or communication limitations. Transportation facilities are essential components in creating communities of opportunity and reducing the disproportionate economic and health burdens on disadvantaged communities.

Equity is considered in Lane County’s decision-making process. Public Works’ public involvement process incorporates inclusive public engagement to reduce the longstanding socioeconomic disparities experienced by under-served and underrepresented communities. Several policy and program areas advance equity, including the: Public Works Title VI Plan  (establishes non-discrimination policy), Public Works ADA Transition Plan (commits to removing accessibility barriers),Public Works Limited English Proficiency Plan (provides free, certified translation services upon request), Lane County Transportation System Plan (establishes equity policies), and Lane County Transportation Safety Action Plan (recognizes and prioritizes vulnerable users).