MTI releases Defining and Measuring Equity in Public Transportation report

  • Date: 09/22/2023
A new report from Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) aids the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the state’s transit agencies in assessing transit service equity. The report, “Defining and Measuring Equity in Public Transportation,” helps evaluate potential solutions for past, existing and future inequities.

Review of the literature and transit practices found Federal Transit Administration Title VI requirements have significant shortcomings for measuring transit equity. These are:

  • They only look at race and income.
  • They only address planned service change inequities and not existing inequities.
  • They do not set standards for defining and measuring equity.

The extensive research and analyses found current standard practice metrics (race and income) likely miss critical aspects of equity. Agencies can employ new techniques and measurements that capture overlooked metrics, especially those that correlate to traditionally underserved populations who may not have access to the transit services they require. Identifying and diagnosing inequities in transit service provision are key. Traditional ways to seek public input, particularly public hearings, are typically least accessible to groups, including those with low incomes and other historically marginalized groups. Taking these seemingly small actions can make huge improvements in transportation equity for all.

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