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Clean Transportation:
Tackling Virginia's Largest Polluter

Fighting for Transportation That Works For Everyone

Transportation is vital. High-quality, reliable public transit service is essential for Virginians to access their jobs, schooling, healthcare, education, and shopping needs. 

Yet it’s often unreliable and inaccessible in the places that need it most. At the same time, transportation is Virginia’s biggest single source of greenhouse gasses and other toxic pollutants — for which low-income communities are most likely to face the consequences. 

We believe that we can transform Virginia’s transit sector from a major cause of climate change to part of the solution, while improving social justice at the same time. 

Our Two-Pronged Approach:

bus (1)
Expand Public Transit
clean car (2)
Clean Up Cars

Reimagining our Transportation Systems

Car culture has saddled us with immense air pollution at the same time that it has spawned sprawling suburbias with little access to jobs, food, healthcare, and recreation. Layers of oppression have been baked into the structure of how we live and move through our neighborhoods. Predominantly Black communities face a higher risk of premature death from particle pollution than whites do. This is due to the long-lasting effects of racialized housing policies, which resulted in greater exposure to things like busy, dirty highways. Specifically, Richmond neighborhoods redlined in the 1930s remain some of the hottest in the city today with little tree cover–leaving residents more susceptible to negative health outcomes. And highways that bisect poor communities like Route 1 disproportionately expose residents to harmful air pollution from cars and shipping.

The easiest way to reduce vehicle miles is to get Virginians out of their cars. This means making public transit between urban centers more affordable, accessible, and reliable, as well as creating bikeable and walkable communities. 

But currently, many communities have little to no access to public transportation. In 2018, riders of Hampton Roads Transit (HRT) had to deal with 18,653 scheduled buses that never showed up. And two of our state’s biggest bus systems—HRT and the Greater Richmond Transit Company—were ranked two of the three worst-funded public transit systems in the country per capita.

We’re campaigning to increase funding for public transportation across the state. Join us in taking action today!

Clean Up Cars

The vast majority of transportation pollution comes from the Commonwealth’s light duty fleet. Not everyone wants to live in a city and public transit cannot meet all of our transportation needs. That’s why we are also working to ensure new cars in Virginia are electric and the requisite charging infrastructure is accessible. We’re doubling down on campaigns to pass complementary policies to support the uptake of EVs – including funding the state rebate and dedicating state funding to public charging infrastructure. 

To support transitioning to clean vehicles, CCAN has already taken important legislative steps. In 2021, Virginia adopted Clean Car Standards, which sets out clean standards for new vehicles and joins Virginia to the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program to increase the number of EVs sold in Virginia. Despite clear consumer demand for electric vehicles, many dealerships in the Commonwealth simply don’t carry them. This means that in previous years Virginians have either had to settle for gas powered cars or travel across state borders to purchase EVs — resulting in lost revenue for Virginia businesses. 

 

Unfortunately, Governor Youngkin is once again seeking to illegally override the legislature and pull Virginia out of the Clean Cars program. That will take Virginia back on climate, and push economic activity into other states that have more clean cars available.

While we fight Governor Youngkin’s anti-climate agenda, we are also building on the Clean Cars program to broaden the amount and scope of who has access to an electric vehicle. We continue to advocate for policies and programs that expand purchasing options for used electric vehicles. This will make electric vehicles — which tend to be cheaper overall, with less maintenance and gas required — more attractive. An overwhelming majority of the time, evaluating on the lifetime cost of the vehicle means that an EV will be cheaper!

Furthermore, Governor Glenn Youngkin is trying to flout the law and roll back the Clean Car Standards. It’s important we protect this key policy.

Tell Governor Youngkin: Virginia Needs the Clean Car Standards!