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New Resources on Inclusive Mobility and Transportation Equity

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Two new resources (shown below) have become available concerning incorporating equity and inclusive principles into transportation planning. These principles are critical as appropriate allocation of resources in the planning stage can improve quality of life and economic opportunities for passengers, particularly those with mobility difficulties due to advanced age or disability.

A short report titled Evaluating Transportation Equity was published by Todd Litman of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) in January 2022. It discusses the importance of equity in the allocation of public resources. Access to transportation can improve quality of life and economic opportunities, and work is needed to ensure people with mobility issues are not left behind. Litman’s report covers four primary types of equity to be considered:

  1. Horizontal equity (fairness or equality). Allocation of public resources to a group or mode of transportation should reflect its share of overall travel. Data provided shows that non-auto modes of transportation receive less than their expected share.
  2. Vertical equity with regard to need and ability. Multimodal planning and universal design practices are desirable to best serve people with disabilities and other mobility needs.
  3. Vertical equity with regard to income. Progressive policies can to improve affordable modes of transportation, subsidize low-income users, and offer affordable housing in high-accessibility areas.
  4. Social justice. Transportation systems should seek to address structural inequities brought on by racism, sexism, and classism through policy, employee training, and professional development.

A webcast primer titled Intro to Inclusive Mobility on Demand: Success and Best Practices was published by TransitPlanning4All in February 2022. The primer emphasizes the importance of inclusive planning. Inclusive planning calls for stakeholders and transportation participants with mobility issues to play a key role in the planning process. This human-centered approach encourages new solutions tailored to the needs of older adults and people with physical or mental disabilities. By starting from the planning stage, inclusive planning ensures these concerns are foundational.

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