Development of Transportation Equity Metrics to be Tested Using the Mobiliti Simulator

Research Team: Jane Macfarlane (lead) and Joan Walker

UC Campus(es): UC Berkeley

Problem Statement: Researchers often use transportation simulators, such as Mobiliti, to evaluate transportation plans and policies. The simulators provide useful information such as where and by what mode trips are made, who makes the trips, what roads are used and which neighborhoods the trips will traverse. However, the results typically focus on describing trip behavior across the entire population, without regard to differences in travel behavior between different demographic groups.

Project Description: This research project will develop a set of meaningful equity metrics that will allow agencies to understand distributional benefits and burdens to specific disadvantaged and/or underserved communities at different geographical scales, including individual trips, neighborhood, and city-wide levels. The initial equity metric development will draw from existing literature on the current state of equity analysis, insights from academics in the fields of sociology and urban planning with expertise in planning for historically marginalized population groups, and local knowledge based on a series of workshops with stakeholders from the City of San Jose. The metrics will be tested in San Jose and more than 100 other Bay Area cities using the Mobiliti simulator to evaluate how routing algorithm applications impact communities of concern from health, safety and overall quality of life perspectives, but they will be designed to be broadly applicable to other types of projects/scenarios.

Status: In Progress

Budget: $80,000