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Equitable Access to Transportation Systems: Equity Assessment: Measuring Access and Performance

Introduction

Here you'll find national, state and related resources and guidance for assessing a transportation system's accessibility.

Guidance Sources

TCRP Research Report 214: Equity Analysis in Regional Transportation Planning Processes, Volume 1: Guide, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), 2020.

A five-step framework analyzes equity in regional transportation plans and programs. Examples and resources reflect varying regional contexts and agency capabilities. Practices implemented by two metropolitan planning organizations—Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission—are included in the guide.

 


TCRP Research Report 214: Equity Analysis in Regional Transportation Planning Processes, Volume 2: Research Overview, Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), 2020.

This companion to Volume 1 identifies ways in which equity in public transportation can be analyzed through an integrated participatory and quantitative approach.

 

 


Transportation Equity Scorecard: A Tool for Project Screening and Prioritization, U.S. Department of Transportation, June 2020.

A screening tool and companion user guide are presented to prioritize transportation projects for funding based on meeting the needs of underserved populations.

 

 


Evaluating Transportation Equity: An Intermetropolitan Comparison of Regional Accessibility and Urban Form, Federal Transit Administration, June 2013.

Twenty-five metropolitan regions are reviewed to identify areas that best support high accessibility for transit-dependent populations, racial minorities and low-income households.

California

Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP), California Air Resources Board, 2020.

By funding planning, clean transportation and related projects, this pilot program aims to increase transportation equity in California’s disadvantaged and low-income communities.


Low-Income Barriers Study, Part B: Overcoming Barriers to Clean Transportation Access for Low-Income Residents, California Air Resources Board, February 2018.

Researchers identify the barriers that people in low-income and disadvantaged communities face to access zero-emission and near zero-emission transportation and mobility options. The study includes recommendations to increase access.

 

 


Planning for Transportation Equity in Small Regions: Towards Meaningful Performance Assessment,” Transport Policy, November 2016.

Through an evaluation of transportation equity in California’s San Joaquin Valley, researchers assess current practices and recommend steps to improve the consistency between equity analyses and the real-world impacts of transportation plans in future assessments.

 


Connecticut

Assessing and Quantifying Public Transit Access, Connecticut Department of Transportation, March 2014.

Researchers integrated transit needs into transit accessibility indexing to evaluate existing transportation systems and service gaps and to identify priority areas for future investments in transportation infrastructure.

 

 

 


North Carolina

“Modeling and Evaluating Public Transit Equity and Accessibility by Integrating General Transit Feed Specification Data: Case Study of the City of Charlotte,” Journal of Transportation Engineering, July 2020.

Best practices are presented for using general transit feed specification (GTFS) data to better understand and assess public transit equity and accessibility for public transportation planning and operation. Using a case study of the city of Charlotte, researchers suggest policy implications for enhancing equity and accessibility in the public transit system.


Texas

Application of an Equity Rubric That Shows Need for Rural and Low Density Communities Near Megaregions: Case Study IH 10 East Corridor, Houston to Texas State Line, Federal Transit Administration, September 2020.

Researchers compare the ability of the Equitable Target Area tool and the Composite Vulnerability Index (CVI) to identify the needs of an area’s transportation system and the possible solutions to address deficiencies. Results suggest that the CVI best identifies vulnerable areas of need.

 

Approaches and Barriers to Addressing Equity in Transportation: Experiences of Transportation Practitioners,” Online First, Transportation Research Record, June 2021.

Interviews with 59 transportation practitioners from the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors identified key barriers to their implementation of transportation equity approaches, including the lack of sufficient and quality equity-related data, challenges with accessing and collecting data, and a lack of standards and metrics for measuring equity-related outcomes.


“Are All Transit Stations Equal and Equitable? Calculating Sustainability, Livability, Health, and Equity Performance of Smart Growth and Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD),” Journal of Transport and Health, September 2019.

Using regional or local access to jobs, services, transit and walkability, researchers assess the livability opportunity access performance of more than 350 U.S. light rail stations.

Livability and Smart Growth Equity calculator

 


Mobility Equity Framework: How to Make Transportation Work for People, The Greenlining Institute, March 2018.

To address community-identified mobility needs, this framework provides tools that assess and maximize equity in transportation planning and decision-making.

 

 

 


Assessing Public Transit Service Equity Using Route-Level Accessibility Measures and Public Data,” Journal of Transport Geography, January 2018.

Researchers sought to inform the development of more robust transit equity analyses by integrating measures of accessibility—the ease with which destinations can be reached—into Federal Transit Administration-required analyses using publicly available data.