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Research Projects

STATUS: In Progress YEAR: 2019 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health Transportation planning, policy, and finance CENTER: PSR

Assessing the Impact of Equity Work in Active and Sustainable Transportation

Project Summary

Project number: PSR-19-42
Funding source: Caltrans
Contract number: 65A0674 TO 021
Funding amount: $98,810
Start and end dates: December 1, 2019 to November 30, 2020

Project description

This project proposes an innovative and compelling new mode of assessing the impact of equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in active and sustainable transportation. Equity is an issue of growing concern in transportation studies. There is an increasing level of awareness of the role transportation systems have played in racial segregation and the disempowerment of low-income communities and communities of color. 

Numerous effort have been made to address the deep issues of injustice through the inclusion of equity and community participation within projects on active and sustainable transportation. Equity is being taken into account in transportation investments. New transportation projects seek to engage longtime residents in the planning and implementation process. New research studies are focusing on the ridership and transportation patterns among communities of color and the different barriers they may face in transportation use. Research on equity within transportation advocacy and professional spaces is emerging. Cities and planning firms have begun to hire experts in equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as change their recruiting tactics to hire more people of color. More work must be done to assess the overall impact of this work. This is also true in frontiers of transportation innovation. The 3 Revolutions Conferences hosted at UC Davis included commentary of equity, which pointed toward the need for much more work on equity issues of visions for transportation's shared, autonomous, and electric-driven future. What is now needed are methods of assessing the overall strengths and challenges of equity efforts in active and sustainable transportation.

The goals of this project are to (1) identify key areas of strength and areas for improvement in equity work in active and sustainable transportation emphasizing biking, shared mobility, and automated vehicles; (2) examine the inclusion of disadvantaged communities in the planning, policymaking, and implementation of new active and sustainable mobilities; and (3) provide recommendations for how to enhance equity work in active and sustainable transportation.


Sarah McCullough
Associate Director, Feminist Research Institute
1 Shields Ave
Davis, CA 95616
United States
[email protected]