Center for American Progress Action

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act Helps Arizonans With Disabilities Access Transportation

$884 million from President Joe Biden’s infrastructure law is dedicated to upgrading Arizona’s public transportation system. The investment expands Arizona’s public transportation to reach more areas and extend and improve efficiency. For people with disabilities such as Marcos Castillo, access to reliable transportation is life-changing.

Photo shows Marcos Castillo, who uses a wheelchair, and his girlfriend, standing behind him, smiling at the camera wearing formal clothing.

Marcos Castillo and his girlfriend, Mina Lopez, are pictured in November 2021. (Photo credit: Marcos Castillo)

Marcos, a wheelchair user, relies on public transportation to go to doctor’s appointments, attend activities with his children, and be an active member of his community. Now 39 years old, Marcos has had a disability since age 18. But the lack of services in his hometown of Yuma, Arizona, left him with no choice but to leave the only life he knew for Phoenix, where he could access public transportation. Today, Marcos still struggles with Arizona’s lack of reliable and accessible public transportation, which has often left him stranded in the heat waiting for a ride. But in 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) into law, investing $884 million to upgrade and expand Arizona’s public transportation. Marcos is thrilled to have access to more public transportation options, but he is most excited for what this investment means for the disability community, especially first-generation Arizonans who will be able to stay more easily connected to their families and cultures. 

The IIJA gets me excited because I see things from different angles. As a Chicano disability rights advocate, I see how first-generation Americans can benefit from cheap, efficient, and accessible transportation. I couldn't visit my family for months on end because I didn't have affordable and accessible transportation. This can negatively impact the psyche of a young family like ours looking to form strong familial bonds in our community. Marcos Castillo

Many people with disabilities rely on a robust transportation system. The historic investments in public transportation from the IIJA increase access to jobs, culture, and education for all Americans.

Read more stories on how recent legislation has benefited Americans

This collection features stories from people in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose lives have been improved by the legislation passed during the Biden administration’s first two years.

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