The Weekly WrapThe Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap: Denver Metro Area Will Cut Train and Bus Fares

Also: An Oregon town purchased a forest to fight wildfires.

Bus drives down the street near commercial buildings in Denver

(Photo by Colin Lloyd / Unsplash)

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Welcome to The Weekly Wrap, our Friday round up of stories that explain the problems oppressing people in cities and elevate the solutions bringing us closer to economic, environmental and social justice.

Also, next Wednesday, August 2, we’re hosting a webinar about equity in the cannabis industry. Our speakers include Sarah Woodson, founder of advocacy organization Color Of Cannabis, and Amber E. Senter, founder and CEO of MAKR House, a storytelling and experiential cannabis company. RSVP today and join us at 1 p.m. that day!

Denver To Slash Train Fares

While New York City’s MTA approved a 15-cent fare hike for trains and buses, the transit system serving the Denver metropolitan area will cut fares in an effort to boost ridership, Axios reports.

The plan is the result of an 18-month equity analysis that began in 2021. The Regional Transportation District, or RTD, will cut the cost of monthly passes by 55% to $88. The cost of a three-hour pass will drop a quarter to $2.75 and there will be additional discounts for seniors, people with disabilities and Medicare recipients. RTD will also begin a $5 million pilot to make fares free for people younger than 19. Colorado’s governor signed legislation in 2021 that ended a requirement that RTD bring in 33% of its revenue from fares, which paved the way for the fare cuts.

Oregon Town Purchases Forest to Protect Itself From Wildfire

A 400-person town in Oregon is purchasing surrounding forestland in an effort to protect residents from wildfires, which have become more pronounced in the region, Here Is Oregon reports. Once a booming logging hub, Butte Falls plans to curate a biodiverse forest with older foliage that is more resilient to forest fires.

According to reporter Grant Stringer, “Conservationists and the state’s top politicos say the small project playing out in a remote corner of Pacific Northwest forest can teach other communities how to adapt to climate disasters.” The town was able to purchase the woodland for $1.1 million with assistance from a conservation nonprofit, as well as the state of Oregon and U.S. Forest Service.

UPS Teamsters Win Major Contract

On Tuesday, Teamsters announced that it reached a contract with the United Parcel Service that will include higher pay, more staff and air conditioning in UPS delivery vehicles purchased after January 1, 2024. Part-time and full-time staff will receive a $2.75 raise in 2023 and a $7.50 increase by 2028. The company will also hire 7,500 new full-time workers. UPS Teamsters will be able to vote on the new contract between August 3 and 22. The Biden administration was in touch with both sides throughout negotiations, according to the Washington Post, and business leaders were putting pressure on President Biden to break a potential August 1 strike.

West Philadelphia Organizations To Excavate Historic Black Bottom Neighborhood

A “community archaeology project” in West Philadelphia will work to unearth Philadelphia’s “Black Bottom” neighborhood, a thriving Black district home to arts, movie theaters and businesses, West Philly Local reports. “Heritage West: The West Philadelphia Community Archaeology Project” is a joint project organized by UPenn, Penn Museum, Black Bottom Tribe Association and other organizations. The coalition has already conducted a radar survey of a block on Lancaster Avenue and an excavation will begin on August 1. The site is currently owned by Community Education Center, a 50-year-old arts nonprofit that owns a building on Lancaster that is more than 100 years old.

San Diego Attempts To Bridge Inequity In City Planning

San Diego will attempt to compensate for the inequities that lead fewer low-income residents to participate in its infrastructure planning, which has led to better parks, libraries and roads on its north side compared to its south side, the San Diego Union Tribune reports. According to the paper, many of the voices who influence planning are well-off retirees with free time, who are fewer in number on the city’s south side. The city plans to flier and hold outreach events in neighborhoods this summer that have traditionally not had their voices heard in the planning process. The city will also give higher priority to infrastructure projects in low-income neighborhoods and those most impacted by climate change.

Curated by Deonna Anderson


  • In Los Angeles, Metro has launched fare capping, with riders paying no more than $5 for daily fare or $18 within seven days. After the cap is reached, rides are free. ITS International

  • Black land-grant universities have been deprived of $200 million in matching funds from states over the past decade. Meanwhile, predominantly white land grants have been generously supported, according to a new report from the Century Foundation. The Chronicle of Higher Education

  • North Carolina health officials are making plans to implement Medicaid expansion, which would provide “health care coverage to about 500,000 of the state’s poorest residents.” Axios


  • The Open Architecture Collaborative is accepting applications for its Equity in Practice, which is “a 12-week interdisciplinary fellowship for practitioners in the United States who bring an understanding of equity and are ready to deepen their practices of community engagement in the built environment. Learn more and apply here!

  • We’re looking for a Greenboro-based reporter to cover racial justice. Learn more about this part-time role and apply here!

This article is part of The Weekly Wrap, a newsletter rounding up stories that explain the problems oppressing people in cities and elevate the solutions bringing us closer to economic, environmental and social justice. Click here to subscribe to The Weekly Wrap newsletter.

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Roshan Abraham is Next City's housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.

Tags: philadelphiadenverunionstransportation equityplanningoregon

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