Using principles of justice to assess the modal equity of regional transportation plans

Aaron Golub, Karel Martens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Scopus citations

Abstract

While equity has been an important consideration for transportation planning agencies in the U.S. following the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI specifically) and the subsequent Department of Transportation directives, there is little guidance on how to assess the distribution of benefits generated by transport investment programs. As a result, the distribution of these benefits has received relatively little attention in transportation planning, compared to transport-related burdens. Drawing on philosophies of social justice, we present an equity assessment of the distribution of accessibility in order to define the rate of "access poverty" among the population. We then apply this analysis to regional transportation plan scenarios from the San Francisco Bay Area, focusing on measures of differences between public transit and automobile access. The analysis shows that virtually all neighborhoods suffer from substantial gaps between car and public transport-based accessibility, but that the two proposed transportation investment programs reduce access poverty compared to the "no project" scenario. We also investigate how access and access poverty rates vary by demographic groups and map low-income communities within access impoverished areas, which could be the subject of further focused investments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Volume41
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2014

Keywords

  • Accessibility
  • Equity
  • Justice
  • Regional transportation plans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Environmental Science(all)

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