Transportation needs of low income population: a policy analysis for the Washington D.C. metropolitan region

Public transportation is part of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas, especially to low income individuals, whom are often totally dependent on this service for their daily activities. The role that transit plays on the connection between residential locations and employment opportunities is crucial in creating and implementing programs that will improve and maintain transit and vehicle ownership options viable for vulnerable segments of metropolitan residents. This study proposes the use of the logsum measure obtained from transportation demand models to assess the accessibility of a target population. In this sense, the Maryland State Travel model is used to evaluate the Washington Metropolitan area. This paper analyzes the socio-demographic characteristics of low income individuals, job availability, travel patterns and trip chaining and evaluates policies aiming at improving accessibility by car and public transport within the study area. The results show that policies promoting investment on public transportation would yield higher benefits to the low income population when compared to the ones that promote lowering vehicle operational cost. Interestingly, the results also highlight the fact that extremely low income households receive almost no benefit from these incentives, indicating that reasons other than lack of transportation means might be hindering them to reach job opportunities.


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  • Accession Number: 01594175
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 15 2016 10:14AM