Examining Transportation Access and Cost Burdens for Affordable Housing Residents in San Diego

Research Team: Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell (lead) and Jennifer Nations

UC Campus(es): 

Additional Research Partners: UC San Diego

Problem Statement: Despite state goals that promote development in transit-rich areas, affordable housing sites are often not located in regions conducive to public transportation. Composite housing and transportation cost indexes suggest that nearly fifty percent of families are cost burdened if both housing and transportation expenses are considered. Minimizing the need for personal automobiles and maximizing the desirability and convenience of public transit can address cost burdens for affordable housing residents.

Project Description: This research project will examine transportation access and cost burdens associated with affordable housing in San Diego County. It will not only consider the financial cost of a personal vehicle versus using low-cost public transit, but also the time cost associated with relying on public transit services and the accessibility burden caused by long walking distances to transit stops. The researchers will leverage UC San Diego’s Homelessness Hub data on the location of existing, developing, and planned affordable housing sites and will collaborate with the San Diego Association of Governments to identify affordable housing sites. The research team will then use origin-destination trip data to calculate the potential transportation cost and travel time associated with each affordable housing site for different modes of transportation. To complement this analysis, the project will also identify five existing affordable housing sites where residents will be surveyed about frequent travel destinations, modes used, transportation cost, and personal transportation decision factors.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000