Press Release: Groups Call for Philanthropy to Support Public Transit & Mobility

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 4, 2022 

Contact: Doug Gordon |

More Than 35 Civil Rights, Environmental, Transportation And Philanthropic Leaders Call On Climate Funders To Re-Think Their Giving And Invest More In Clean Transportation To Curb Greenhouse Gasses 

Today, more than 35 leading climate justice, environmental, civil rights and philanthropic leaders called on climate funders to re-think their giving and called for far greater philanthropic investment in ending greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. 

The open letter to funders comes after the passage of the bipartisan infrastructure bill which commits nearly $90 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit over the next five years — the largest federal investment in public transit in history.

The large and diverse coalition releasing the open letter today includes NAACP, Urban Institute,, TransitCenter, Sierra Club, Summit Foundation, NRDC, Bullitt Foundation, Labor Network for Sustainability, Alliance for a Just Society, The Funders Network, Merck Family Fund, U.S. PIRG, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and many others. 

The open letter, says in part:

“We urge leaders in climate funding to invest in community-based groups who fight for better transportation. We further urge leaders in funding of electric vehicles to make supplementary investments in civic advocacy for public transit and other alternative climate-friendly modes of transportation. We urge leaders to boost the sum total of transportation investments. Specifically, we believe an additional investment of $200 million in transportation organizing is needed to transform the way Americans move, replacing our dependence on highways and roads with an approach to transportation and land use that includes transit, electric trucks and cars, biking, walking, and more.

Public transit is often overlooked as a means for tackling climate change and promoting racial equity. This is a grave mistake. Buses and trains provide mobility across race and class, to people in rural and urban communities alike, and to seniors and people with disabilities. Paired with biking and walking, transit reduces sprawl, improves health, and lowers transportation expenses.”

It concludes by stating:

“A $200 million philanthropic investment over the next five years would empower local groups to build a robust, coordinated field to win local battles, direct the coming surge of federal funding and prepare for reauthorization. With this funding, frontline organizations will reduce greenhouse gasses in their communities and be ready to win a transformational reauthorization fight in 2026.

Funding local and regional organizing for multimodal transportation is crucial to achieve our shared goals of climate justice and racial equity. We look forward to collaborating with you to build a more sustainable and equitable future.”

The letter is being delivered to climate foundations with the expectation that they will increase funding to advocates to push for the greenhouse gas reductions necessary to address the nation’s transportation system impacts on climate, equity, and health.

You can see the full letter and all the signers here:

Select signatories are available for interviews. 

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