Analyzing Transportation Equity Impacts using Activity-based Travel Demand Models

Road traffic traces
Joan Walker
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Activity-based travel demand models can be useful tools for understanding the individual level equity impacts of transportation plans, because of their ability to generate disaggregate transportation measures. However, these capabilities have yet to be fully explored in public practice. In our research we use a general framework for performing transportation equity analysis using activity-based travel demand models, distributional comparisons, and incorporating equity standards. In addition, we demonstrate the advantages of distributional comparisons, relative to average measures. This demonstration uses the 2000 Bay Area Travel Survey and (activity-based) mode choice model. The findings show that distributional comparisons are capable of clearly revealing the winners and losers that result from transportation improvements, in comparison with average measures. The use of these results will likely result in different conclusions on transportation investments.

Contributors: Joan Walker (Professor of Civil Engineering, UC Berkeley), Tierra Bills (Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan).