In 2008, the Rockefeller Foundation launched the Initiative to Promote Equitable and Sustainable Transportation. With the last great mission of the U.S. transportation – the building of the Interstate Highway system – in the rearview mirror, the initiative was premised on the notion that the country needed a twenty-first century vision to meet twenty-first century needs. This meant a system that would provide more accessible and affordable options, reducing the cost of transportation for millions; ensure better and more dependable access for all, thus increasing access to opportunity; and prioritize energy efficiency and pollution education, thus providing for a healthier planet and healthier communities.
In particular, the Foundation aimed to achieve three major outcomes with its support:
i) inform transportation policy through actionable research, analytical support and practical examples; ii) strengthen capacity and leadership in a strategically diverse and enduring constituency for change and reform towards a new transportation paradigm; and iii) expand partnerships of new and diverse philanthropic and donor partners to collaborate in support of federal efforts and in sustaining regional ones.