Policy Brief: Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies

Policy Brief: Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Stocker, and Ruth Meza Date: December 2019 Abstract:  To better understand the equity implications of a variety of congestion management strategies, researchers at the Transportation Sustainability Research Center (TSRC) at University of California, Berkeley analyzed existing literature on congestion management strategies and findings from 12 expert interviews. The literature review applies the Spatial – Temporal – Economic – Physiological – Social (STEPS) Equity Framework to identify impacts and classify whether social equity barriers are reduced, exacerbated, or both by a particular strategy. The congestion management strategies of interest were categorized into six broader categories: 1) pricing, 2) parking and curb policies, 3) operational strategies, 4) infrastructure changes, 5) transportation services and strategies, and 6) conventional taxation. View...
Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies Whitepaper

Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies Whitepaper

Authors: Susan Shaheen, PhD, Adam Stocker, and Ruth Meza Date: December 2019 Abstract:  This white paper examines the social equity impacts of various congestion management strategies. The paper includes a comprehensive list of 30 congestion management strategies and a discussion of equity implications related to each strategy. The authors analyze existing literature and incorporate findings from 12 expert interviews from academic, non-governmental organization (NGO), public, and private sector respondents to strengthen results and fill gaps in understanding. The literature review applies the Spatial – Temporal – Economic – Physiological – Social (STEPS) Equity Framework (Shaheen et al., 2017) to identify impacts and classify whether social equity barriers are reduced, exacerbated, or both by a particular congestion mitigation measure. The congestion management strategies discussed are grouped into six main categories, including: 1) pricing, 2) parking and curb policies, 3) operational strategies, 4) infrastructure changes, 5) transportation services and strategies, and 6) conventional taxation. The findings show that the social equity impacts of certain congestion management strategies are not well understood, at present, and further empirical research is needed. Congestion mitigation measures have the potential to affect travel costs, commute times, housing, and accessibility in ways that are distinctly positive or negative for different populations. For these reasons, social equity implications of congestion management strategies should be understood and mitigated for in planning and implementation of these strategies. View...
Leveraging the Sharing Economy to Expand Shelter and Transportation Resources in California Evacuations

Leveraging the Sharing Economy to Expand Shelter and Transportation Resources in California Evacuations

Authors: Stephen Wong and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: June 2019 Abstract: In 2017 and 2018, California was severely impacted by a number of devastating wildfires that required thousands of people to evacuate. These evacuations were hampered by poor communication, traffic congestion, and transportation and shelter resource deficiencies. To ensure that all citizens have both transportation and shelter in evacuations, agencies must consider alternative strategies for expanding resources, such as leveraging the sharing economy. This policy brief presents key research findings from the report “Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California” as well as policy recommendations for evacuation planning at the state and local level. View...
Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California

Current State of the Sharing Economy and Evacuations: Lessons from California

Authors: Stephen Wong and Susan Shaheen, PhD Date: June 2019 Abstract:  In many evacuations including wildfire evacuations, public agencies often do not have enough resources to evacuate and shelter all citizens. Consequently, we propose that the sharing economy, through private companies and/or private citizens, could be leveraged in disasters for transportation and sheltering resources. To assess this feasibility, we distributed surveys to individuals impacted by three major wildfires in California: 1) the 2017 October Northern California Wildfires (n=79), 2) the 2017 December Southern California Wildfires (n=226), and 3) the 2018 Carr Wildfire (n=284). Using these data, we find that private citizens are moderately to highly likely to share transportation and sheltering resources in future disasters, but numerous reservations persist about sharing. We also find significant spare capacity in evacuating  vehicles and potential homes. To supplement this work, we also conducted four focus groups (n=37) of vulnerable populations to determine the benefits and limitations of a sharing economy strategy in terms of equity. Groups included low-income (2017 December Southern California Wildfires), older adult (2017 October Northern California Wildfires), individuals with disabilities (2017 October Northern California Wildfires), and Spanish-speaking (2018 Mendocino Complex Wildfire). We find that while severe equity limitations exist, groups were able to develop several recommendations for successfully leveraging sharing economy resources for the general population and their specific vulnerable group. We conclude with several local agency and statewide recommendations for building a sharing economy framework for California to prepare for future evacuations. View...

Innovative Mobility Services & Technologies: A Pathway Towards Transit Flexibility, Convenience, and Choice

Authors: Susan Shaheen Published: 2012 Abstract: The number of senior citizens is expected to double by the year 2020, representing 18% of the nation’s population. After age 75, driving performance begins to decline due to changes in health and medication effects. Indeed, one quarter of seniors over 75 are expected to require alternative transportation services in the future. This chapter examines transit and innovative mobility options to better meet the needs of the growing older population in the near (2011) and more distant (2021) future.Barriers to transit use among older adults include anxiety and confusion about using transit; inconvenience; cost and payment; safety; and physical discomfort. Emerging intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies can help to overcome these barriers and provide alternative mobility options, such as real-time information, simpler payment, demand-responsive door-to-door services, carsharing, and smart parking linked to transit. Other approaches include user training, smaller and more comfortable vehicles, and low-floor buses. While the scaling and cost reduction benefits of ITS are exciting, there are several obstacles to wide-scale deployment. One of the most significant is coordination among health and human service and transportation providers, particularly in suburban and rural locations. Some operators already struggle to provide services, and many staffers have limited experience with ITS technology. Thus, a concerted effort is needed across many different types of transit agencies to share information and compatible technologies. In the future, coordination strategies and ITS technologies will play a critical role in providing more flexibility, convenience, and choice for older travelers. View...