May 05, 2023

Duckworth Joins Booker, Gomez in Reintroducing Bicameral Legislation to Promote Equitable Access to Public Lands


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) and U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34) to reintroduce the Transit to Trails Act, legislation that would provide equitable access to parks, green spaces and public lands and waters. The bill would establish a grant program that would fund projects to make transportation to these spaces more accessible for underserved communities.

“America’s public lands and waters connect us to nature and help tell our nation’s history, and every American deserves the opportunity to experience them,” said Duckworth. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in reintroducing the Transit to Trails Act to help eliminate transportation barriers so that folks from all over can travel and visit more of these natural wonders.”

“Every American should be able to enjoy America’s parks and public lands regardless of where they live,” said Booker. “However, a lack of transportation options to these places can be a significant barrier for many people. The Transit to Trails Act is an important step towards making sure that everyone can enjoy our public lands and waters. By encouraging more transportation options to our nation’s valuable outdoor spaces, this bill will help promote public health and provide more opportunities for all Americans, particularly those in underserved communities, to enjoy the great outdoors.”

“Getting out in nature is essential for our mental health and physical wellbeing, especially for our children. But many cities are built in a way that makes America’s national parks and public lands inaccessible for underserved communities,” said Gomez. “Everyone deserves access to green spaces, not just those who can afford to drive to them. That’s why I’m proud to partner with Senator Booker on this legislation that will remove barriers between our cities and our parks to ensure everyone, regardless of their zip code, can enjoy the beautiful outdoors.”

Underserved communities are often left out from accessing our public lands due to limited transportation options. The Transit to Trails Act provides an equitable solution by funding projects that improve public transportation to green spaces and public lands, making it more accessible for everyone.

Along with Duckworth and Booker, this bill is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The full text of the Transit to Trails Act can be found here.

The full list of supporting organizations can be found here.

Duckworth is a co-chair and co-founder of the Senate’s first Environmental Justice Caucus, along with Booker and Senator Carper. The Transit to Trails Act is a part of their Environmental Justice for All Act, comprehensive legislation to achieve health equity and climate justice for all, particularly underserved communities and communities of color that have long been disproportionately harmed by environmental injustices.