Rousing the Sleeping Giant: Administrative Enforcement of Title VI and New Routes to Equity in Transit Planning
From Homer Plessy to Rosa Parks, access to public transit has been at the center of the civil rights movement. While de jure segregation is largely a relic of this nation’s past, advocates have struggled to adapt civil rights jurisprudence to the more subtle and pervasive transit inequities that exist today. Administrative enforcement of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 has the potential to open a new front in the struggle for transit justice. Using the Federal Transit Administration’s Title VI guidance as a starting point, this Comment examines the current guidance’s innovations and weaknesses, and proposes new measures the Federal Transit Administration and other administrative agencies can use to ensure transit planning decisions are made in a manner that is most equitable to the communities involved.