Mobility for Special Populations & Social Equity

Struggling to Connect: Housing and Transportation Challenges of Low-Income Suburban Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alexandra Pan, Elizabeth Deakin PhD, Susan Shaheen PhD

Suburban areas have lower density development than urban areas, which may make them less accessible for the growingpopulation of low- and moderate-income suburban residents, particularly those without a personal vehicle. This research examines factors that lead these households to move to suburban areas and identifies accessibility barriers they face. We use a mixed-methods approach with Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) data from the U.S. Census, online/in-person surveys (n=208), and interviews conducted in English and Spanish (n=25) with households in Contra Costa County with an...

Policy Brief: Social Equity Impacts of Congestion Management Strategies

Susan Shaheen, PhD; Adam Stocker; Ruth Meza

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 Framework1 to identify impacts and classify whether social equity barriers are reduced, exacerbated, or both by a particular strategy. The congestion management strategies of...

Can Sharing Economy Platforms Increase Social Equity for Vulnerable Populations in Disaster Response and Relief? A Case Study of the 2017 and 2018 California Wildfires

Stephen Wong, Jacquelyn Broader, Susan Shaheen

Ensuring social equity in evacuations and disasters remains a critical challenge for many emergency management and transportation agencies. Recent sharing economy advances – including transportation network companies (TNCs, also known as ridehailing and ridesourcing), carsharing, and homesharing – may supplement public resources and ensure more equitable evacuations. To explore the social equity implications of the sharing economy in disasters, we conducted four focus groups (n=37) of vulnerable populations impacted by California wildfires in 2017 or 2018. To structure these data, we...

Understanding the Travel Needs of Underserved Populations That Rely on Transportation Network Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area

Susan Shaheen, Adam Cohen, Kate Gosselin, Jacquelyn Broader

Congestion management strategies can be improved through increased data sharing, particularly between public and private stakeholders. Additionally, improvements in public transit and pooling services (e.g., dedicated infrastructure) can help increase travelers' willingness to shift to higher-occupancy modes. However, safety concerns will also need to be addressed to encourage shifts toward higher-occupancy travel options. Unique considerations and strategies may need to be employed in order to ensure equitable outcomes for travelers with disabilities.

Advancing Social Equity and Congestion Relief: Understanding the Travel Needs of Underserved Populations That Rely on Transportation Network Companies in the San Francisco Bay Area

Susan Shaheen, Kate Gosselin, Jacquelyn Broader, Adam Cohen

Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) enable travelers to order and pay for rides on-demand using an online application that connects them with drivers using their personal vehicles. While these modes present opportunities to increase individual mobilityand access, they also can worsen congestion and increase vehicle emissions. Researchers explored factors impacting the willingness to use pooled TNCs and identifiedstrategies/policies that could be employed to reduce congestion from TNC use. Researchers conducted a literature review, interviews with TNC experts, semi-structured interviews...

Electric Carsharing in Underserved Communities (Greenlining Institute)

Vien Truong and Joel Espino

The transportation sector accounts for 38 percent of California’s greenhouse gas emissions, the largest source of pollution in the state. Four out of 10 Californians live close to a freeway or busy road. As a result, Californians face an increased risk of asthma, cancer and other pollution-related health hazards. There are now twice as many people dying from trafficrelated pollution as from traffic related accidents.

Californians spend $70 billion on gasoline and diesel annually — $40 billion of which leaves the state in payments to oil companies and foreign oil-producing countries...

Exploring Electric Vehicle Carsharing As A Mobility Option for Older Adults:A Case Study of A Senior Adult Community in The San Francisco Bay Area

Susan Shaheen, PhD
Lauren Cano
Madonna Camel

By the year 2030, 57 million people will be over the age of 65 in the United States. Baby Boomers drive approximately 17% more than other age groups and are active well past retirement. This paper examines electric vehicle (EV) carsharing (short-term vehicle access) as a future alternative to vehicle ownership for older adults living on fixed incomes in a gated community to provide reduced cost mobility and eliminate vehicle maintenance hassles. The authors conducted a study of the response to the EV carsharing concept in a senior community in Northern California, between Winter 2009 and...

Bridging the Income and Digital Divide with Shared Automated Electric Vehicles

Jessica Lazarus, Gordon Bauer, Jeffery Greenblatt, Susan Shaheen

This research investigates strategies to improve the mobility of low-income travelers by incentivizing the use of electric SAVs (SAEVs) and public transit. We employ two agent-based simulation engines, an activity-based travel demand model of the San Francisco Bay Area, and vehicle movement data from the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles Basin to model emergent travel behavior of commute trips in response to subsidies for TNCs and public transit. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to assess the impacts of different subsidy scenarios on mode choices, TNC pooling and match...

To Pool or Not to Pool? Understanding the Time and Price Tradeoffs of OnDemand Ride Users – Opportunities, Challenges, and Social Equity Considerations for Policies to Promote Shared-Ride Services

Susan Shaheen, Jessica Lazarus, Juan Caicedo, Alexandre Bayen

On-demand mobility services including transportation network companies (also known as ridesourcing and ridehailing) like Lyft and Uber are changing the way that people travel by providing dynamic mobility that can supplement public transit and personal-vehicle use. However, TNC services have been found to contribute to increasing vehicle mileage, traffic congestion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Pooling rides ⎯ sharing a vehicle by multiple passengers to complete journeys of similar origin and destination ⎯ can increase the average vehicle occupancy of TNC trips and thus mitigate...