VII. EXPAND EQUITY AND ACCESS
Frontline communities are often composed of people of color and of lower-income who traditionally have been overburdened with the negative impacts from and underrepresented in decisions about transportation. One report from the Union of Concerned Scientists found a 66% higher exposure of air pollution from vehicles among communities of color than for white communities. These emissions increase the risks of asthma, cancer, and other pollution-related illnesses. Frontline communities also experience stronger barriers to EV adoption due to higher upfront costs and lack of access to charging infrastructure. These burdens and barriers warrant a targeted approach to increasing electric transportation equity and access among members of frontline communities.
A. Charging Access for Frontline Communities
When opportunities for citing locations for charging stations occur stakeholders should advocate for equitable access to all communities.
B. Outreach Events in Frontline Communities
Host education and outreach events in frontline communities to ensure all community members are engaged in electric transportation opportunities and awareness of the benefits. Community input meetings and events are more likely to be successful if they meet community members where they are including language interpretation, childcare, support with travel to meetings and attendance incentives.
C. Prioritize Frontline Communities for Electrification
As more of the public transportation sector becomes electrified, frontline communities should be prioritized for electric buses. Research that has shown that “pollution inequity” associated with air pollution disproportionately causes poor health outcomes to frontline communities. Because electric transit buses have no road-level pollution their routes should be serving communities that would benefit the most from them.
D. Voucher, Low-Interest Financing Point of Purchase Rebates and Used EV Rebates for Low-Income Drivers
Vouchers, low-interest financing, and point-of-purchase rebates are more effective than traditional rebates for helping lower the initial cost of vehicles for low-income consumers, by reducing the amount of financing needed. Also, allowing used EVs to qualify for rebates makes them even more accessible for low-income customers. Additionally, targeting incentives to low-income customers via an income cap directs limited funds to consumers who need the benefit the most.
E. Carshare Programs
Partner with a community development organization to develop an EV car share pilot for members of the community with limited transit opportunities.