Using GPS Tracking to Understand the Transportation Costs of Displacement: A San Francisco Pilot

Research Team: Miriam Zuk (lead) and Karen Chapple

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: California’s climate change legislation, especially AB 32 and SB 375, pressures regions to strive for vehicle miles traveled (VMT) reductions, in part through planning for more compact development patterns and transit-oriented development (TOD). Our previous research establishes that TOD may, in certain contexts, accelerate residential displacement. However, the VMT impacts of displacement are not well understood, due to the constraints of existing secondary data sources.

Project Description: This exploratory research project tests a new data collection technique that may shed new light on the transportation costs of displacement. Using GPS tracking, the researchers record the travel patterns of San Francisco residents who are involuntarily displaced. They track travel before, during, and after eviction. For comparison, the researchers track a small sample of voluntary movers from the same neighborhood. Due to the small size of the sample (no more than 10 respondents) and exploratory nature of the research, the researchers see this as a preliminary study that can form the basis of a larger grant proposal in the future. This seed grant enables them to test the GPS tracking app, develop and test the respondent recruitment methodology, gain a preliminary understanding of differences in travel patterns, and develop a working relationship with the San Francisco Planning Department, their research partner.

Status: Completed

Budget: $25,000