The cost of equity: Assessing transit accessibility and social disparity using total travel cost
place - north america, policy - equity, policy - fares, policy - social exclusion, place - urban
Equity, Job accessibility, Transit fare, Travel time, Cost
Social equity is increasingly incorporated as a long-term objective into urban transportation plans. Researchers use accessibility measures to assess equity issues, such as determining the amount of jobs reachable by marginalized groups within a defined travel time threshold and compare these measures across socioeconomic categories. However, allocating public transit resources in an equitable manner is not only related to travel time, but also related to the out-of-pocket cost of transit, which can represent a major barrier to accessibility for many disadvantaged groups. Therefore, this research proposes a set of new accessibility measures that incorporates both travel time and transit fares. It then applies those measures to determine whether people residing in socially disadvantaged neighborhoods in Montreal, Canada experience the same levels of transit accessibility as those living in other neighborhoods. Results are presented in terms of regional accessibility and trends by social indicator decile. Travel time accessibility measures estimate a higher number of jobs that can be reached compared to combined travel time and cost measures. However, the degree and impact of these measures varies across the social deciles. Compared to other groups in the region, residents of socially disadvantaged areas have more equitable accessibility to jobs using transit; this is reflected in smaller decreases in accessibility when fare costs are included. Generating new measures of accessibility combining travel time and transit fares provides more accurate measures that can be easily communicated by transportation planners and engineers to policy makers and the public since it translates accessibility measures to a dollar value.
Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.
El-Geneidy, A., Levinson, D., Diab, E., Boisjoly, G., Verbich, D., & Loong, C. (2016). The cost of equity: Assessing transit accessibility and social disparity using total travel cost. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Vol. 91, pp. 302–316.