The National Academies

NCHRP Synthesis 20-05/Topic 53-01 [Final (Synthesis)]

Practices to Promote Equity in Transportation Funding
[ NCHRP 20-05 (Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices) ]

  Project Data
Funds: $45,000
Staff Responsibility: Trey Joseph Wadsworth
Research Agency: University of Texas at Arlington
Principal Investigator: Dr. Stephen Mattingly
Effective Date: 2/9/2022
Completion Date: 8/9/2023
Comments: Final report is published on project page as uncorrected agency report.
Fiscal Year: 2022

Synthesis Topic 53-01
Practices to Promote Equity in Transportation Funding
Final Scope
State departments of transportation (DOTs) are increasingly acknowledging that communities historically overburdened with health and social inequities have in the past experienced fewer benefits and a greater share of negative impacts associated with our transportation system in both rural and urban geographies. Some of these disparities reflect a history of transportation decision-making, planning, policies, and processes in funding that have resulted in barriers, divided communities, and amplified inequities. These historical and ongoing injustices continue to inhibit access to critical destinations like health care, education, recreation, and more.
The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT practices to promote equity in programmatic and discretionary funding plans, policies, and processes for both capital and operational projects, potentially through distribution methodologies, formulas, tools, or evaluation criteria.
Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to):
  • State DOT definitions of equity in transportation;
  • Equity statements, action plans, goals, or stated recognition of the problem or problems;
  • Practices or strategies (e.g., methods –formulas for programmatic funding or, tools, or evaluation criteria) to promote equity in transportation funding (federal and state sources, discretionary and formula) and fare/fee structures;
  • Community engagement processes related to funding and planning decisions;
  • Implementation plans for short-term and long-term efforts to reduce and eliminate systemic/institutional equity problems;
  • Performance measures associated with funding and equity; and
  • Communication and training practices related to funding, equity, and demonstrating transparency.
Information will be gathered through a literature review, a survey of state DOTs, and follow-up interviews with selected agencies for the development of case examples. Information gaps and suggestions for research to address those gaps will be identified.
TRB Staff
Trey Joseph Wadsworth
Phone: 202-334-2307
Email: twadsworth@nas.edu
Meeting Dates
First Panel: October 5, 2021, virtual meeting
Teleconference with Consultant: November 18, 2021 from 3:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern
Second Panel: October 12, 2022, virtual meeting
Topic Panel
Tracy Brown, West Virginia Department of Transportation
Cassidy Ellis, Caltrans
Ian Gorecki, Maine Department of Transportation
Bryant Jenkins, Sperry Capital
Dr. Mehri Mohebbi, University of Florida
Ngani Ndimbie, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Dr. Jonathan Peters, City University of New York
Lyndsay Quist, Indiana Department of Transportation
Melissa Anderson, Federal Highway Administration
William Anderson, Transportation Research Board 
The Agency's uncorrected final report prepared under NCHRP Project 20-05/53-01 is available online at: https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/53-01/FinalReport.pdf.  

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