Transportation Equity Program

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The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) believes that an equitable transportation system

  • prioritizes the needs of marginalized communities, and
  • eliminates the barriers to access and harmful transportation impacts experienced by these communities.

The MPO’s Transportation Equity Program advances the transportation equity goal developed as part of the MPO’s Long-Range Transportation Plan:

Facilitate an inclusive and transparent planning process and make investments that eliminate transportation-related disparities borne by people in disadvantaged communities. 

Recent Work

Identifying Transportation Inequities in the Boston Region: Completed in 2022, this study analyzed a set of metrics that measure existing transportation inequities in the Boston region, focusing on destination access and transportation cost. The analyses measured inequities that exist for minority populations, low-income populations, and zero-vehicle households. See the following for more on the findings:

Unlocking the Blue Hills: Addressing Equity and Access in the Blue Hills Reservation: Completed in 2022, this StoryMap shows how we analyzed public transit access to the Blue Hills for environmental justice populations and households without access to cars in the Boston communities of Mattapan, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Roxbury. The study, led by an advisory group and supported by MPO staff, resulted in several proposals for improving public transit access to the Blue Hills from those communities.

Equity Approach

The MPO takes an “equity in all policies” (EiAP) approach to achieving its equity goal. EiAP is based on the “health in all policies" approach from the field of public health. EiAP means that equity is a part of every policy, process, and decision at the MPO. This approach is strategic and inclusive. At every step in the decision-making process, MPO staff engage the region’s most vulnerable populations to develop and implement strategies for advancing equity.

Equity in All Policies

Explore MPO plans and programs to learn how they advance transportation equity.

Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP): The MPO’s long-range planning document, Destination 2050, provides a vision and goals for the region, and sets the MPO’s priorities. View these chapters for more information about equity in the LRTP:

Transportation Improvement Program (TIP): The MPO’s capital planning document records which projects will be funded in the region over the next five years. View these equity analyses in the TIP:

  • Equity analysis of project impacts, in the aggregate, funded in the most recent TIP
  • TIP Project Scores

Public Engagement Program: The MPO strives to build a diverse coalition of partnerships throughout the region and to elevate underserved and underrepresented voices in the decision-making process. These plans guide the MPO’s outreach efforts:

  • The Language Assistance Plan describes how the MPO provides appropriate language assistance to enable people with limited English proficiency to meaningfully participate in MPO activities.
  • The Public Engagement Plan describes the MPO’s approach to conducting inclusive public engagement.

Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation Plan (CPT-HST): Updated every four years, this plan documents the transportation needs of people with disabilities and older adults in the region. To receive Massachusetts Department of Transportation Community Transit Grant funding, projects must meet a need identified in the CPT-HST for the relevant MPO region. Check to see if your municipality is in the Boston Region MPO area.

Focus Areas

MPO staff have identified several critical focus areas for advancing transportation equity. Achieving true transportation equity requires action beyond the traditional boundaries of transportation planning. MPO staff collaborate with professionals in the fields of housing, education, public health, economic development, environmental science, and other disciplines to advance shared equity goals. Some collaborative outcomes include the following:

Learn More or Get Involved

  • Learn about your rights under the MPO’s Civil Rights program.
  • Request language or accessibility support:
  • Invite us over to talk about how we can support transportation improvements in your community.


Betsy Harvey
Transportation Equity Program Manager