The Mass Transit Dilemma: Streamlining regulatory regimes to address climate change and poverty

To aid mass transit development, this project will identify bottlenecks and redundancies in the infrastructure permitting and approval process. Crucial to this segment of the project is identifying policies where well-meaning regulations are being used to undermine their own purported goals. In the context of this project, relevant examples include when community input requirements are exploited by NIMBY organizations or when proponents of highway expansion use environmental protection laws to pose legal challenges to passenger rail construction. The study will then propose a set of policy recommendations designed to simplify and shorten the permitting and approval process. This will be supported by an exploration of the overlapping jurisdictions of state, federal, and local regulatory regimes and administrative agencies concerning transportation infrastructure development. This section will likely include a discussion of environmental and environmental tradeoffs, wherein the paper will make the case that regulatory exemptions and carve-outs will be necessary to adequately address the scale of the challenge posed by the climate crisis and social inequality. In practice, this means accepting local costs to achieve regional, national, and international prerogatives related to climate management and social justice.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Contract Numbers:


    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Regional Transportation Equity Research Center

      Morgan State University
      Baltimore, MD  United States 

      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

      University Transportation Centers Program
      Department of Transportation
      Washington, DC  United States  20590
    • Project Managers:

      Niehaus, Joseph

    • Principal Investigators:

      Niehaus, Joseph

    • Start Date: 20230901
    • Expected Completion Date: 20240901
    • Actual Completion Date: 0
    • USDOT Program: University Transportation Centers

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01893861
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Sustainable Mobility and Accessibility Regional Transportation Equity Research Center
    • Contract Numbers: 69A3552348303
    • Files: UTC, RIP
    • Created Date: Sep 21 2023 1:06PM