Seven states in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic plus Washington, D.C. have pledged to work together to rebuild their transportation system for the 21st century. Given the looming threat of climate change, it is clear that this system must be stronger, cleaner, and more equitable. This report offers a blueprint for such a system. In it, NRDC recommends walkable, bikeable streets and expanded, accessible public transit. We also recommend expanding electric cars, buses, trains, and even garbage trucks—with the charging infrastructure to keep them going. Lastly, we implore decisionmakers to prioritize vulnerable and historically marginalized communities, including the elderly, low-income communities, and communities of color.
Modernizing the region’s transportation system will require strong commitments and investments from regional, state, and local leaders. Businesses, government agencies, community organizations, and residents must be included in the discussion. But while the scale of our transportation challenges is large, the benefits of clean and modern transportation are enormous and well worth the effort. We encourage policymakers, residents, and businesses to think boldly. If done right, the region’s transportation modernization can become a beacon to the rest of the country and the world.