America’s outward, car-oriented growth has meant that people now travel much farther for basic needs. According to new research, only 12.1% of trips to basic amenities happen within a 15-minute walking radius of residents’ homes in the median U.S. neighborhood, and the frequency of those types of trips varies greatly depending on income.
Road fatalities are disproportionate across both racial/ethnic and rural/urban lines
Recent research examines equity in road fatalities and finds significant disparities across racial/ethnic, income, and geographic lines. The researchers geocoded and analyzed crashes both in terms of where the crash occurred and the home zip code of the driver, a departure from previous roadway safety research that has focused exclusively on the crash locations. The findings of the research have significant equity implications.
Race and class disparities in driver’s license suspension and consequences in California
A new report published by a coalition of legal and civil rights organizations highlights the race and class discrepancies in driver’s license suspension and its effects in California. As more low-income people locate in suburbs farther from jobs and transit, a driver’s license becomes ever more important to reach jobs, schools, and other destinations. Additionally, many jobs and training programs require a driver’s license, and employers sometimes screen out those without a license even if their job duties do not require driving.
Equitable access to opportunity: The growing distance between people and jobs
Recent studies show that travel times and costs for all commuters are increasing, particularly in the past five years, and a recent Citi Premier commuter index documents average commuting costs. These costs are regressive in nature, creating a particular burden for lower-income commuters, who are much more likely to live farther from employment and have long commutes and travel times, regardless of mode. The inequitable impacts of this challenge manifests in lost opportunity for lower-income commuters.
Bike share offers lessons in providing equitable transportation options
Bikes shares, which now offer expanded transportation options in cities around the nation, have also tested those cities’ abilities to serve their communities equitably. The placement and pricing of these systems are often barriers for low-income communities. Philadelphia’s new system, however, while not a perfect example, improves upon its predecessors and offers important lessons in equitable transportation provision.
USDA documents transportation barriers to food access among low-income households
Recently released findings from the National Household Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey provide a valuable glimpse into how low-income people access food and the challenges they face meeting this most basic need. The survey, which involved 4,286 households, provides data on where people bought most of their groceries and how they travel to and from the store.
Access for the unbanked—equity with electronic tolling and contactless transit payment
State DOTs are increasingly moving to all electronic tolling (AET) for roads and bridges. Transit agencies nationwide are also updating fare collection systems, and the trend is towards contactless, cashless fare payment. However, a significant percentage of the U.S. population does not have a bank account, and this poses significant accessibility challenges to the transportation system.
Lower income neighborhoods hit hardest by pedestrian deaths
According to national data, pedestrian deaths increased by 15 percent between 2009 and 2012 and have made up a growing share of all traffic deaths over the past decade. That is particularly troubling news for lower income neighborhoods, which experience the highest death rates in their regions, according to a new analysis by Governing. A majority of the responsible crashes took place on national, state, and county routes, the study also found.
Not being evil: Google pays for bus passes for low-income kids
Google is funding bus passes for more than 30,000 low- and moderate-income youth in San Francisco. This announcement is seen by many as a first step toward greater civic engagement by Silicon Valley tech giants, and city government thinks it is a good first step for partnering with the tech industry more generally.
Maintaining Diversity In America’s Transit-Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood Change (Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy, 2013)
As communities across the country plan for and build transit-rich neighborhoods there is a growing need for planning and policy tools to guide this effort. This report provides a detailed analysis of how the introduction of high quality transit can spark neighborhood change, positive and negative. This change may have the unintended consequences of displacing existing residents or not meeting transit ridership goals. The report introduces an on-line tool kit to help planners and policy makers address these and other concerns.