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REF NO.: 155

SUBJECT: Rethinking transportation: A ticket to social equity

DATE: May 14

Transportation is how we all get to employment, education, shopping, health care and other services, but what about individuals without access to transportation?

Memorial University’s Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development will host a Memorial Presents public forum on the social equity aspects of transportation on Tuesday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn in St. John’s.

Dr. Susan Hanson, distinguished university professor emerita within the School of Geography at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., will discuss a framework for finding transportation solutions that promote the increased social inclusion of youth, women, immigrants, the elderly, persons living with disabilities and those in lower income brackets.

“Transportation is a means to an end, it’s the way we get to our daily activities –  work or school, shopping, seeing friends, and tending to our lives in general,” said Dr. Hanson. “But all our transportation systems are designed in such a way that they provide better access for some people and some places than others.” 

Dr. Hanson will be joined by a local panel, including Kathy Hawkins, Independent Living Resource Centre; Kerry Murray, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour; and Dr. Sharon Roseman, professor of anthropology at Memorial and executive member of the On the Move Partnership.

“Like the rest of Atlantic Canada, transportation systems in Newfoundland an Labrador are very much designed to accommodate a car culture,” said Ms. Hawkins.

“We have a relatively small population spread over a vast geographic area; this not only presents a real challenge to creating efficient and accessible transportation systems, but also means that more travel is necessary in order to meet even the most basic needs of people in our communities.”

The event is part of the Atlantic Provinces Transportation Forum hosted by the Harris Centre from May 19-20 at the Holiday Inn. The forum will examine the movement of people in Atlantic Canada, including examining transportation as it relates to economics and policy, the global economy and innovation, as well as the social and equity aspects of transportation.

Admission to the Memorial Presents public forum is free of charge. The event will also be webcast live at www.mun.ca/harriscentre for those unable to attend in person. For more information or to register for the full Atlantic Provinces Transportation Forum, visit www.mun.ca/harriscentre/aptf2015.

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For more information, please contact Cathy Newhook, communications co-ordinator, Harris Centre, Memorial University, at (709) 864-7918.

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