Racial Equity Framework for Transportation

Public Works is finding new ways to achieve equity in transportation. We've created a plan to do this work.

Racial Equity Framework for Transportation

Read the Racial Equity Framework for Transportation (REF)

Elements of the REF include:

  • A definition of and commitment to transportation equity
  • Four goals to guide the work
    • Build organizational empathy
    • Lead with a racial equity approach
    • Build trust, cultivate partnerships and share power with communities of color
    • Hold ourselves accountable to data-driven reporting and adjustments
  • An overview of historic inequities, including an acknowledgment of past harms
  • Data that show ongoing inequities related to race and transportation in Minneapolis
  • Transportation Equity Priority areas that define how the City considers equity for transportation work. This work includes plans, programs and projects
  • 24 strategies and 64 actions across the 4 goal areas to chart the course forward for the City
  • 10 metrics to track and report on over time on progress made

The Transportation Equity Dashboard is a resource that goes into more depth about the elements above.

View the Transportation Equity Dashboard

Public works transportation equity framework goals


Additional REF resources

There are multiple ways to get involved and learn more. These resources are listed below.

Background and connection to on-going City work

Existing plans that inform the development of the REF include: 

In July 2020, the Minneapolis City Council declared racism a public health emergency. The resolution explains ways to reverse a long history of racist policies and practices in the city. 

The City worked with the Cultural Wellness Center on engagement for the Racial Equity Framework. A Community Equity Workgroup helped on the development of the REF. 

The REF will guide the planning, design, and construction of transportation projects. It contributes to an anti-racist culture in the City of Minneapolis. This framework will help make these connections clear.

Foundational definitions

The City of Minneapolis City Council adopted definitions of equity and racial equity.

Equity - fair and just opportunities and outcomes for all people.

Racial equity - the development of policies, practices and strategic investments to reverse racial disparity trends, eliminate institutional racism, and ensure that outcomes and opportunities for all people are no longer predictable by race.

Racial equity works to reverse the negative trends caused by racial injustice. This includes eliminating racism in city institutions. It also means that race no longer determines opportunities for residents.    

The 20 Year Street Funding Plan (2016 and 2018) advanced work in Minneapolis to define equity specific to transportation. This conversation is on-going. It has guided transportation work in the City since it its creation. The plan played an important role in advancing the conversation. The Transportation Action Plan created the equity goal and the Progress Section. It also created many actions that aim to advance transportation equity. The REF continues this work.



Transportation Equity Dashboard

The Transportation Equity Dashboard is a webpage that will allow City staff and residents to learn more. It is a tool to explore current equity data related to transportation in Minneapolis. The webpage will allow users to explore:

  • Individual layers of citywide data, organized by census tract. Examples of these data include race, income, average land temperature, and others;
  • A map of the Transportation Equity Priority areas by tier. You can click on census tracts across the city to see the demographic data for that area. This data forms the foundation of the Transportation Equity Priority Areas;
  • An interactive storytelling page. This explores inequities in history and the impact they make today. It provides a deeper, fuller picture of equity citywide; and
  • More research and resources to learn more.



Contact us

Kathleen Mayell

Transportation Planning Manager

Public Works



Bria Fast

Transportation Planner