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Designing for Transit Equity

May 19, 2021

Since the implementation of Title VI, transit agencies have conducted studies and implemented new policies to ensure people, regardless of their income or the language they speak, can have access to low-cost fares and be an active part of public engagement. Since then cities have actively conducted reports for Title VI analysis but still require more wide-scale efforts to ensure that social and racial justice are woven into their practices.

With a new administration and a commitment to racial equity from the U.S. Department of Transportation, agencies now are rethinking their processes for public engagement, community outreach, and how they gather hyperlocal data.

In “Designing for Transit Equity”, Founder of co:census and urban sociologist Tiasia O'Brien will review how she and her team at co:census have created a new definition of transit equity, new methods of designing equity plans for a city, and share evidence-based use cases of how transit agencies have followed new methods to drive equitable engagement & outcomes.


Tiasia O'Brien is a third-time social entrepreneur with a decade of professional experience in leading strategic communications, fundraising, business development, and public-private initiatives. Tiasia's experience in working with community-based organizations and small businesses has given her deep insights into the complex nature of economic development.

Academically, Tiasia is a Qualitative Research Scientist with an Advanced Diploma in Data Analytics from NYU and an M.A. in Sociology from The New School, where she researched civic and community innovations to resolve social inequalities. Her research examines how models of civic engagement are working for low wealth communities. She coined the term, Civic Gap, which highlights the correlation between wealth and civic engagement. Her recent research focused on post-Great Migration Harlem in the early 1900s political engagement in Sugar Hill and Harlem Proper.

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