Signup for Nathan's News Signup for Nathan's News

MTS Social Equity Listening Tour to Increase Equity Infrastructure in Transit System



The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) Board of Directors approved a new one-year contract with Pueblo Planning, a social justice participatory planning and design firm, to help identify equity transportation priorities among MTS riders and community members. MTS expects to invest $3 million over the next fiscal year to the projects and priorities identified during the Social Equity Listening Tour.

“The Social Equity Listening Tour will be critical to help amplify voices of members in our community and help us continue to build a transit system that works for everyone,” said Nathan Fletcher, MTS Board Chair, and Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Pueblo Planning brings exceptional community engagement experience that highlights inclusion and consideration for priority communities. They have a strong track record of working with other public transportation agencies, and we are confident their findings will help elevate and empower underserved populations.”

The public engagement effort is expected to take up to six months, and will involve a series of public workshops and community outreach events to:

Understand community narratives around equity, public transit, and MTS

Identify areas of concern for MTS audiences as it relates to equity at large (housing, food access, medical care, etc.)

Identify top transportation system priorities for communities within MTS’s service area

Pueblo Planning was selected as the top firm after an evaluation of eight proposers. The firm has been recognized numerous times by the American Planning Association for its work around planning, engagement, and equity.

“Our team is committed to hearing and documenting community stories and strategies and will approach these conversations with great care and humility,” said Monique López, Social Justice Planner and Founder of Pueblo Planning.

The outreach and outcomes from the Social Equity Listening Tour are expected to take approximately six months. After all outreach and feedback conclude, MTS expects to bring a proposed project list, totaling $3 million in Fiscal Year 2023, back to the Board of Directors for approval.

“It’s important to us as an agency that we’re making a financial commitment to the priorities we’ll hear about,” said Sharon Cooney, MTS Chief Executive Officer. “We know that if the public is making the effort to tell us what they want and need to better improve our transit system, that we need to be able to show them the tangible impacts of their time.”