Mobility and Neighborhood Exposure: The Transportation Predictors of Activity Locations in LA County

Research Lead: Trevor Thomas

UC Campus(es): UCLA

Problem Statement: The social and physical environments in which people spend time have demonstrable effects on their life outcomes. While the effects of “neighborhood exposures” are increasingly well-understood, the role of transportation systems in influencing these exposures is much less so. In what ways do transit systems and other elements of personal mobility affect people’s exposure to relatively advantageous neighborhood environments?

Project Description: The effects of transportation systems on social geographies in Los Angeles County will be assessed by combining a detailed, multiwave survey dataset (LAFANS [Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey]) with statistical methods drawn from travel demand analyses. The following analyses will be used to determine the ways in which transportation resources affect the neighborhood environments in which people’s daily activities take place: (1) An assessment of how mobility options affect activity locations and how these effects vary within LA County; (2) An identification of people for whom improved mobility options are likely to have the largest effect in terms of exposure to more advantageous environments; and (3) An accounting of dynamic patterns of spatial segregation, looking at how transportation services affect neighborhood-level divides in terms of race and class.

Budget: $27,729