Looking beyond the mean for equity analysis: Examining distributional impacts of transportation improvements

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, ridership - mode choice, ridership - modelling, planning - surveys, planning - travel demand management, planning - service improvement


Transportation equity analysis, Activity-based Travel Models, Transportation Planning


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 this paper we first discuss 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.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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