Transit-oriented development, VMT, and induced gentrification

Many cities are pursuing transit-oriented development as a strategy to decrease regional vehicle miles traveled. But as TOD has become popular with higher-income residents, low-income residents can be pushed out, complicating that goal. A recent study in California looked at travel patterns of both the new residents of transit-oriented neighborhoods, as well as the households displaced due to gentrification.

Los Angeles and San Francisco using data to target Vision Zero efforts

As cities commit to Vision Zero, they have started to examine intersections and roadway segments with high crash rates, serious injuries, and fatalities to pedestrians. What they have found is that a small percent of roadways account for a large portion of serious crashes. And crashes disproportionately affect certain populations.

Study: Carlessness drives incomes down

New York City has its share of income disparity problems. However, in terms of transportation, at least parts of New York stand out as places that live up to the idea of providing equity through multimodal choice. A new paper by David King of Arizona State University and two co-authors finds that residents of Manhattan suffer no economic penalty if they lack a car. In the rest of the country—and even in the more suburban borough of Staten Island—that’s not the case.

Can road pricing be used to make LA’s transportation system more equitable?

California nonprofit TransForm and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recently released a new report and toolkit with guidance for bringing equity into the implementation of congestion pricing. While conversations about congestion pricing and equity often focus on minimizing the negative—reducing disproportionate impacts to low-income residents—the report authors argue a different paradigm: that pricing strategies can be used to improve the equity of transportation systems overall by harnessing the potential efficiencies to address systemic inequities.

Do mileage-based congestion fees hit low-income drivers harder?

While there is mounting evidence that demand-based pricing—or congestion tolling—can more efficiently manage highway use, serious concerns continue to arise regarding the system’s disproportionate impacts on low-income drivers. However, a recent study by researchers at Purdue University has found that a less onerous tax alternative may exist—one that combines congestion tolling with mileage-based user fees or a VMT tax.

TNC revolution may improve access for low-income communities

New research by Anne Brown finds that transportation network companies are invading auto-access deserts, serving disadvantaged lower-income populations, and offering an alternative to the historically discriminatory taxi industry. By studying data provided by Lyft, the author found that, by some measures, Lyft reached 99.8 percent of the population of Los Angeles County, narrowing the mobility gap for underserved populations.