Anna Zivarts: Nondrivers Are Right — Why Those of us Waiting for the Bus are Tomorrow's Transportation and Climate Leaders

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Three people waiting at a bus stop in a neighborhood on a grey, cloudy day.

Bus riders in Seattle wait for an arriving bus. image / provided


For too long, transportation policy has been written by and for drivers, despite the fact that one-third of people in the United States can't access the privilege of driving ourselves where we need to go. Who are nondrivers, how do we get around, and what would we change to make accessing our communities easier? Our advocacy, organizing, and research answers these questions and centers the voices of disabled, low-income, Black, and Brown nondrivers. To build communities that are accessible for all of us, this expertise must lead land use, transportation planning, and funding decisions. 


Anna Zivarts is a low-vision mom and nondriver who was born with the neurological condition nystagmus. Since launching the Disability Mobility Initiative (DMI) at Disability Rights Washington in 2020, Anna has worked to bring the voices of nondrivers to the planning and policy-making tables through organizing, research, and policy campaigns led by nondrivers. She launched #WeekWithoutDriving in 2021 to challenge elected leaders to get around for a week without driving themselves and is writing a book for Island Press about valuing the expertise of nondrivers. Zivarts serves on the board of the League of American Bicyclists and the National Safety Council's Mobility Safety Advisory Group. She received both her master's and undergraduate degrees from Stanford University.  

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