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Project Type
SEMPACT Research
Project Dates
09/01/2023 - 08/31/2024
Project Status

New innovations in transportation to improve mobility and solve problems such as congestion are not always equitably distributed and do not impact all travelers equally. This project proposes to develop equity-based performance measures for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and new mobility technology implementations that can be used to ensure inclusivity of all users. Best practices will be studied from across the nation, and interviews will be held with local stakeholders to gain feedback. The uniqueness of this research lies in its effort to standardize the equity metric evaluation framework for transportation project selection and assessment, and fill the gap of equity transportation data at a large scale. This is particularly relevant for emerging technologies and mobility innovations, which are relatively new to both adopters and users, and may have different characteristics when it comes to equity assessment. This research will provide practitioners with clarity on how to evaluate transportation equity, which aspects of equity should be considered for varying technologies, the performance metrics available, and a local example of how to fill the equity data gap.

In accordance with the strategic goals and Equity Action Plan (EAP) forth by the U.S. DOT, this research aims to promote 'Equitable Mobility for All' by developing innovative data and tools to evaluate and advance the equity and accessibility of transportation systems, projects, jobs, and policies. This research develops new data and a methodology to aid transportation planners in assessing equity, job quality, and accessibility. It aligns with the U.S. DOT's vision of a peoplecentered transportation system and holds significance for New York, Region 2, its agencies and transportation decision-makers, and communities that are in need of interventions to address mobility challenges. A synthetic population dataset, highly useful for disentangling the impacts of mobility service deployment decisions on different user groups, will make it possible to conduct higher resolution analysis of mobility service and policy designs that could better take into account equity considerations. Based on previous work, this research will develop this data for New York, and feed into the equity-based performance framework to address this important need.

The outcomes of this proposed project include the development of a methodology to perform equity-based framework for future analyses, and evaluated equity measures and scenarios using the synthetic populations generated by this research. The synthetic datasets produced will be made publicly available for future researchers and policymakers through public repositories. Finally, a workshop will be held with all Region 2 stakeholders (researchers and transportation agencies) to disseminate the findings and develop a research roadmap for the selection of equitable transportation projects that will improve the resilience and sustainability of our transportation system, especially under the threat of climate change. In future applications of this research, we will disseminate the roadmap widely, with the goal of putting the findings of this work into practice in future years of SEMPACT by analyzing implementations of SEMPACT research and its partner agencies’ projects, and creating interactive web-tools to visualize and work with the developed data and measures.