, Director, Accessibility Observatory, Center for Transportation Studies
This project investigates access to healthcare, parks, schools and retail in proposed arterial transitway corridor lines in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties. We will deploy a mixed methods toolkit combining accessibility impacts and qualitative data findings to inform outreach efforts that benefit under-represented groups and people of color, who face barriers to accessing necessities and getting to specific places. This proposal introduces key topics (parks, hospitals, supermarkets, elementary and high schools) that inform accessibility analysis by applying both quantitative and qualitative research. Transportation accessibility research applies demographic data sets, the testing of pre-defined variables and the modeling of GIS spatial analysis to consider disparities in traveling to places (El-Geneidy et al. 2006, 2007, Owen et al. 2016, Litman 2017). These models identify how much money people spend and how much time it takes them to get to a location based on a transportation mode. This project seeks to expand the understanding of equity in accessibility research by providing qualitative research questions that focus on why and how people make choices (Glaser et al 2000) in relation to transportation systems. The introduction of topics based on the everyday lived experience of transit users justifies the value of transportation investments by disparities across the metro region.