The National Academies

NCHRP 08-159 [Anticipated]

Understand How Accessibility to Employment, Health Care, Education, and Other Vital Needs Varies for Differ-ent Population Groups in Different Settings, and Methods for Effectively Assessing Mobility and Accessibility Needs

  Project Data
Source: AASHTO Special Committee on Research and Innovation
Funds: $500,000
Staff Responsibility: Jennifer L. Weeks
Fiscal Year: 2022

This project has been tentatively selected and a project statement (request for proposals) is expected to be available on this website. The problem statement below will be the starting point for a panel of experts to develop the project statement.

State DOTs are seeking guidance on how to assess and address the transportation needs of the full spectrum of diverse populations they serve within their jurisdictions. Understanding transportation needs in the context of equity requires an understanding not only in the gaps in access to quality transportation infrastructure and services but specifically how those gaps limit the access of some populations and communities to key destinations that provide health and wellbeing. Traffic models have long used home-based work trips (commute trips) to forecast travel needs and design infrastructure and transit operations, oriented around “peak periods.” And while there is considerable research on access to employment, common methodologies do not fully represent the full range of challenges faced by many low-income, minority, and other vulnerable populations whose commute patterns do not fit traditional commute work hours or travel patterns. More importantly, to ensure more equitable transportation service it is important to gain a better understanding of the specific transportation challenges faced with respect to providing underserved populations with access to critical goods and services such as health care, active transportation, recreation and outdoor destinations, religious services, healthy food, and more. 

The objectives of this research are to (1) better understand transportation equity issues in all transportation modes related to accessibility to employment, health care, and education; (2) identify opportunities for state departments of transportation as well as other transportation agencies to minimize inequities caused by transportation decisions that impact low-income, minority, and other vulnerable populations; and (3) develop methodologies to help decision-makers better understand the differences and factors that influence the needs in different geographic contexts and for different groups.


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