So Many Different Things Open Up to a Person Who Is Mobile: Subsidizing Car Ownership for Low-Income Individuals and Households
Nicholas Klein, Cornell UniversityShow Abstract View Presentation
For poor households in the United States, access to a subsidized automobile can lead to economic and social mobility. I interviewed 30 individuals living in Maryland and Virginia who received subsidized cars from a nonprofit organization to examine how their lives changed when they received a subsidized car. Having a car eased their daily travel and allowed them to transition to better-paying jobs, helped them move to neighborhoods with more opportunities, and enabled them and their children to participate more fully in school-related activities.
Examining the Feasibility of Shared Mobility Programs for Reducing Transportation Inequities: Perspectives from the Frontline
Sarah Robinson, University of Texas, ArlingtonShow Abstract View Presentation
Courtney Cronley, University of Tennessee
Kyung Hyun, University of Texas, Arlington
Farah Naz, University of Texas, Arlington
Shared mobility services, such as car-share and ride-hail programs, have become increasingly popular with the rise of the share economy, which allows community members the opportunity to share lodging and vehicles. Researchers have suggested that shared mobility services could reduce transportation inequities among environmental justice (EJ) populations, given their ability to reduce the need for a personal vehicle. However, research indicates that low income individuals are less likely than higher income individuals to utilize car-share and ride-hail services for their transportation needs. The perspectives of providers of transportation resources for low income communities of shared mobility services could reveal important implications for the use of these services among EJ population. We have yet to assess how those responsible for disseminating shared mobility services to EJ populations perceive these resources, though. To address this gap, researchers interviewed 28 community agency service providers and transportation experts to discover their experiences with and perceptions of car-share and ride-hail programs as a resource for EJ populations. Researchers analyzed the qualitative data and four themes emerged about providers perceptions of shared mobility services: not there yet for car-share, affordability, perceived inconvenience due to misconceptions, and technological barriers. Overall, providers were relatively unfamiliar with shared mobility services, particularly car-share programs, which led to misconceptions about the feasibility of their use in low income communities. This study reveals importance implications for transportation providers and shared mobility companies to increase mobility among EJ populations and decrease transportation inequities in low income communities.
How (Should) We Evaluate Demand Responsive Transit’s Impact on Transport Equity?: A Systematic Review.
Benjamin Kaufman, Griffith UniversityShow Abstract
Matthew Burke, Griffith University
Abraham Leung, Griffith University
Demand responsive transport (DRT) has been touted as a panacea for suburban public transport woes, providing efficient service in low-density environments. A review of the DRT literature published in English language journals identified 29 papers that examined the effect of these services on social equity. All studies examined the impact of age on DRT usage, while disability (25 papers) and gender (15 papers) were major interests. This research was predominantly completed in the Anglosphere, with the UK (34%), the US (31%), and Australia (14%) dominant. While DRT can take many forms, there is limited research into the best ways to provide these services in various environments to best promote social equity. That said, DRT services generally increase the quality of life for the disadvantaged served in suburban and rural areas, where it has been implemented. A research agenda based on the results of this study suggests ways forward to improve understanding of equity outcomes from DRT service provision.
Autonomous Vehicles and Social Exclusion: Analyzing Residents’ Potential In-Vehicle Activities Through the Lens of Equity
Haotian Zhong, Texas A&M University, College StationShow Abstract View Presentation
Wei Li, Texas A&M University, College Station
Mark Burris, Texas A&M University
Alireza Talebpour, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
Kumares Sinha, Purdue University
Autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies are expected to reshape travel behavior by enabling more productive or enjoyable uses of travel time. Interests regarding how AVs will impact mobility, and the subsequent broader social impacts are growing. However, few studies have investigated individuals’ in-vehicle activities during AV travel and implications to the daily activity participation of individuals from different socio-economic backgrounds. To address this gap, we collected 19,921 in-vehicle activity choices from 1,881 respondents in small and medium-sized metropolitan areas of the United States. We use ordered logit regression models to examine the determinants of potential engagement in-vehicle activities. Then, we draw upon time geography and distributive justice theories to assess the equity effects of the in-vehicle activities. Our results confirm that in-vehicle activities can provide more opportunities for daily activity participation, but the distribution of the benefits is unequal. This study offers implications for understanding the social impacts of AVs and the future development of measures for equity analysis.
Pitfalls in the Measurement of Transport Inequalities and Transport Poverty
Alex Karner, University of Texas, AustinShow Abstract
Rafael Pereira, Instituto de Pesquisa Economica Aplicada
Public transit equity is an increasingly sought after--but contested--outcome of transportation planning and policy efforts. Many transit agencies around the world are restructuring their bus networks to provide more high-frequency routes while cutting peripheral service. Despite their increasing popularity, no standard equity analysis approach has been used. As in other areas of public transit equity analysis, agencies are free to design and execute equity analyses using various data sources and analytical approaches. This freedom has led to conflict around the impacts of redesigns on disadvantaged populations. The need for standard approaches is clear, but so is the need for critical reflection. In this paper, we review two popular approaches for assessing equity in public transit service: Gini coefficients/Lorenz curves, and needs-gap approaches. Both are widely used in the literature and practice, both are undergirded by theories of justice that are rarely articulated, but both embody substantial shortcomings that must be adequately addressed in order to derive meaning from their results. No work to date has critically engaged with these methods to question their underlying assumptions or to examine and interrogate their outputs and implications. Researchers and practitioners must apply both methods carefully if the results are to be meaningful and relevant to transportation planning and decision making.
Nationwide Examination of the Spatial Mismatch Conditions Across the 100 Largest Metropolitan Areas in the United States
Yunlei Qi, University of Minnesota, Twin CitiesShow Abstract
Socioeconomic context of spatial mismatch has changed evidently after 2000, and so does the spatial mismatch across the nation. To examine the national-wide spatial mismatch conditions in the United States, an auto or transit accessibility-based dissimilarity index (ADIs) is applied to measure the spatial mismatch extent for different worker groups in the largest 100 metropolitan areas across the nation. The results suggest a severer spatial mismatch problem for black workers based on both auto and transit accessibility than white and other worker groups in almost all large metropolitan areas (MSAs). The problem is severer in the MSAs located in the Western, and the gaps of the spatial mismatch conditions between black and white workers are larger when the metropolitan size becomes smaller. In the meantime, the results do not provide evidence for the spatial mismatch problem met by low-wage workers. Instead, high-wage workers seem to have higher ADIs based on transit accessibility than others do, and this could result from their self-selection of living in suburban neighborhoods, where the transit accessibility is limited.
Social Perception and Holistic Assessment of Bus Rapid Transit in Soweto
Maria Vanderschuren, University of Cape TownShow Abstract View Presentation
Lerato Molefe, University of Cape Town
Alison Gwynne-Evans, University of Cape Town
In 2009 the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) highlighted the importance of government investment in energy efficient, pollution reducing transport modes and infrastructure. This policy specifically recommended the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system as a transport mode to help achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). BRT is an innovative, bus-based system that integrates the high efficiency of a rail system and the low cost of a bus network. BRT was first developed and implemented in Curitiba, Brazil, in 1974. After the successful adaptation and implementation of the BRT system in Latin America, South Africa saw the planning and implementation of the first BRT systems during the early 2000s, in preparation for the Soccer World Cup in 2010. The first BRT system, named Rea Vaya, meaning “we are going”, commenced in 2009, connecting the South Western Township (Soweto) to Johannesburg. A decade after the services started, this paper takes stock of the impacts that the implementation of the Rea Vaya BRT system has had on Soweto residents. A combination of the analysis of secondary economic and environmental data and primary social data provided information to conduct a Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA). Aggregating phase one and two of Rea Vaya implementation results in a positive Net Present Value (NPV) of R693m, and a Benefit/Cost-Ratio (BCR) of 1.09. The MCA identifies additional social benefits, giving the BRT a clear advantage over the use of minibus (van) taxis.
Political, Social, and Spatial Borders to Formalization: A Case Study of East Jerusalem
Tamara Kerzhner, University of California, BerkeleyShow Abstract
The choice of the state to regulate and reform private-sector or ‘informal’ public transport services always holds a political element, hand in hand with a prevalent rhetoric of technical progress and efficiency. In Jerusalem, a divided city where Israeli authorities control service and infrastructure provision for an occupied Palestinian population with extremely limited democratic voice and a long history of resistance, mundane municipal questions are frequently points of national and international tension and violence. In this light, this paper examines the gradual, long term process of formalization undertaken by Israeli authorities of East Jerusalem’s informal transport systems between 1998 and the present day. The motivations of state actors as well as the adaptation and reaction by the Palestinian transport operators speak to broader questions of the interaction between state regulation and informal systems. Going beyond the financial viability of the system, it is shown that local histories and cultures as well as differences in the manner of approaching business and contract relationships continue to affect the outcomes of the process. While many elements of transport have seen substantial improvement, others have remained notably stymied – in particular, the continuing persistence of long-established route networks, slowness in adapting technologies, and difficulty in forming large firms out of atomized operators.
Vision Zero Hashtags in Social Media: Understanding End-User Needs from Natural Language Processing
Subasish Das, Texas A&M Transportation InstituteShow Abstract View Presentation
Kartikeya Jha, Texas A&M University
Anandi Dutta, Ohio State University
Vision Zero is a global traffic safety policy which promotes road safety by advocating the shared responsibility of designers, policymakers, and road users to work toward the goal of nullifying preventable fatalities and severe injuries caused by man-made errors. This paper investigates the use of the hashtag #VisionZero on Twitter, a popular microblogging platform, to understand public needs and requirements, identify innovative and context-sensitive solutions, and facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices. Textual content from about 32,000 unique tweets was analyzed using opinion mining, network cluster analysis, and exploratory visual analyses to identify the significance, frequency, and patterns of word strings to examine the relevance of needs for several different focus areas within Vision Zero. Results reveal interesting trends, contexts, and patterns with regard to user reactions to road safety needs, issues, and solutions. This research can help decision-makers in identifying and anticipating the most relevant demands and pressing requirements for different individual areas of interest. Several U.S. cities, Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), and states have embraced the Vision Zero strategy. This paves the way for a bigger role for the Vision Zero approach in global road safety efforts aimed at achieving results set forth in the Decade of Action for Road Safety in the coming years.
Developing a Census Block Level Accessibility Measure for St. Louis Metropolitan Area
Amir Poorfakhraei, East West Gateway Council of GovernmentsShow Abstract View Presentation
Brenden Giblin, East West Gateway Council of Governments
Ajdin Hamzagic, East West Gateway Council of Governments
Simon Court, Basemap Ltd
Lubna Shoaib, East-West Gateway Council of Governments
This study is an effort to develop an accessibility measure for St. Louis Metropolitan Area. Accessibility measures are commonly calculated at the Traffic Analysis Zone (zones) level, due to computational burden and data limitations. Zones, however, are generally large and prevent from evaluating accessibility at a finer scale. This paper utilizes improved computation capacity and demonstrates the potential for higher resolution analysis through the use of census blocks as the spatial unit. A gravity based accessibility measure is defined to estimate walk and transit accessibility score to Points of Interest (POIs). The scores are visualized on maps to compare accessibility for the entire region. The higher resolution provides us with the opportunity to identify low accessibility hot-spots that were not identifiable using large zones as the unit of analysis. The approach proposed in this study can be replicated in most other metropolitan areas. The approach can be implemented in scenario analysis to evaluate the impacts of change in land use, transit service, and transportation network on accessibility. The results can also be used along with the socio-economic data to study vulnerable population
Who Benefits from Autonomous Vehicles (AVs)?: Equity Aspects of AV Policies in a Full-Scale Prototype Cities
BAT HEN NAHMIAS BIRAN, Ariel UniversityShow Abstract View Presentation
Jimi Oke, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Nishant Kumar, Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet
Arun Akkinepally, Caliper Corporation
Carlos Lima Azevedo, Danmarks Tekniske Universitet
Joseph Ferreira, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
P. Christopher Zegras, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Moshe Ben-Akiva, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
While researchers stressed the potential of Autonomous Vehicles (AV) technology in improving mobility and accessibility for a range of people, only a few attempts have been made to examine the impact of this new technology on different segments of the population in a realistic setting using a large-scale examination. This paper analyzes equity considerations of Automated Mobility on Demand (AMoD) scenarios in three full scale prototype cities using the stat-of-the-art SimMobility simulator. Equity analysis was performed at the individual and segment level, under two scenarios: (1) AMoD Intro , which is a low-cost AMoD service, and (2) AMoD Transit Integration , which is a complementary service to mass transit, in the form of access/egress connectivity service to public transport stations. Induced demand by age and income groups, mode share by income levels, individual km travel by different modes, and income levels, and special distribution of change in fare and accessibility, were examined and discussed. Results indicate that in a very large, population-dense and transit-oriented cities, the most equity-oriented outcomes can be achieved, due to extensive public transport usage, which depress car usage and restrict AMoD induced demand. Such cities provide greater opportunities for low income groups. Specifically, the AMoD Transit Integration scenario results in the best outcomes, as disadvantage groups such as children and low-income individuals, were able to travel more using the mass transit connectivity service.
Adoption and Use of One-Way Carsharing in Oakland, California: A Spatial, Demographic, and Equity Analysis
Alexandra Pan, University of California, BerkeleyShow Abstract
Elliot Martin, University of California, Berkeley
Susan Shaheen, University of California, Berkeley