Sizing Up Transport Poverty: A National Scale Accounting of Low-Income Households Suffering from Inaccessibility in Canada
Jeff Allen, University of TorontoShow Abstract
Steven Farber, University of Toronto
Millions of Canadians rely on public transportation to conduct daily activities and participate in the labour force. However, many low-income households are disadvantaged because existing public transit service does not provide them with sufficient access to destinations. Limited transit options, compounded with socioeconomic disadvantage, can result in transport poverty, preventing travel to important destinations, like employment opportunities. Given the growing gentrification of Canadian downtowns and the dispersion of poverty into Canadian suburbs, the time is right for a national accounting of those living in transport poverty, and the development of a national transport and land use strategy for alleviating the risks of accessibility deprivation. Accordingly, in this paper we measure and analyze vertical inequalities in access to employment in Canadian cities in order to estimate how many, where, and to what extent, Canadians are at risk of transport poverty. We make use of open transit network data and cutting edge accessibility measurement methods to generate comparative scores suitable for a national-scale analysis. We find that in aggregate, lower income neighbourhoods tend to have better levels of transit access. But despite this overall positive outlook, there are still nearly one million low-income individuals living in urban areas with low transit access. We summarize our findings by generating descriptive typologies for areas vulnerable to transport poverty which are then used to develop and recommend planning strategies to reduce transport poverty.
Does Lacking a Car Put the Brakes on Activity Participation?: Private Vehicle Access and Access to Opportunities Among Low-Income Adults
Eric Morris, Clemson UniversityShow Abstract
Evelyn Blumenberg, UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies
Private vehicle travel entails costs to society. However, in a world designed around the automobile, adults who lack access to a vehicle for economic reasons may experience a significant handicap due to constrained mobility and accessibility. This paper examines whether private vehicle access is associated with the quantity and quality of out-of-home activities in which low-income individuals participate. We use pooled data from multiple time use surveys and employ Cragg two-part hurdle modeling to determine whether there is an association between household vehicle access and participation in twelve types of out-of-home activity. Further, we examine travel time by mode for those with and without vehicles. Finally, we use American Time Use Survey data and fixed-effects panel models to determine the amount of subjective well-being (SWB) that is associated with our out-of-home activity types. A lack of private vehicle access is associated with significantly less out-of-home activity participation, both in the aggregate and for seven of the twelve individual activities. Moreover, the activities most likely to be foregone by those without vehicles are generally associated with high SWB, suggesting that constrained mobility comes with significant emotional costs. Finally, respondents with vehicle access spend more total time traveling, although those without cars partially offset spending less time in private vehicles with higher use of alternate modes. Overall, the findings suggest that lack of a private vehicle is deleterious for quality of life, raising troubling questions about the inequity that may arise when people are denied access to vehicles for economic reasons.
The Effects of Driver Licensing Laws on Immigrant Travel
Jesus Barajas, University of Illinois, Urbana ChampaignShow Abstract
Car use is critical to improving access to regional opportunities, especially for low-wage immigrants. But many states have restricted the ability of undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, making it potentially difficult for them to improve their economic standing. The effects of these laws have been tested for their association with traffic safety, but not on mode choice itself. Using the 2017 National Household Travel Survey, I fit a series of logistic regression models to test the influence of permissive immigrant driver licensing on mode choice decisions. I find that immigrants in states with permissive licensing laws are more likely to drive in carpools but not necessarily to drive alone. The results suggest permissive licensing has positive impacts for all immigrants, in addition to positive safety externalities documented in the literature.
What Is the Contribution of Public Transport to Productive Inclusion?: Examining Job Informality in the Bogotá Region
Daniel Oviedo Hernandez, University College LondonShow Abstract
Luis Guzman, Universidad de Los Andes
Nicolas Oviedo, London School of Economics
Our research explores the distribution of accessibility to formal and informal employment in Bogotá, Colombia. Building on the latest available information for the city and consolidated potential accessibility metrics at the socioeconomic level, we present evidence of the contribution of public transport to social and spatial inequalities in accessibility for individuals in different spatial, economic and social categories. Our analysis draws on concepts of social and economic inclusion, combining the study of potential accessibility and the distribution of public transport infrastructure with the degrees to which individuals are included in the safety nets associated with formal employment. This research interrogates the effects of the current configuration of the city and public transport networks on improving accessibility to quality job opportunities, interpreting higher dependency from informal jobs as productive exclusion. Our study brings together two perspectives not often combined, identifying variable levels of social and productive inclusion within the population. We provide empirical evidence that can contribute to target policies for low-skilled and low-income workers in the informal economy.