BETTER BUSES EQUITY ASSESSMENT
The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) initiated the Better Buses Action Plan in 2019 to improve the speed of buses throughout NYC by 25 percent and increase the number of bus riders by the end of 2020. Although the COVID-19 crisis impacted these plans, in June 2020 DOT launched Better Buses Restart, a program that focuses on improving service for vulnerable populations and essential workers on an expedited timeline. The team evaluated DOT’s project selection methodology through an equity lens to determine if DOT’s Better Buses projects are equitably distributed and assess whether DOT could do more to reach equity populations. The team conducted a comparative analysis of equity initiatives in other US cities, analyzed the needs of equitable populations, and evaluated how DOT serves these populations through its project selection, planning, engagement, and evaluation practices. The final report includes recommendations for how to improve the inclusion of equity in the DOT bus program.