Incorporating equity into the transit frequency-setting problem

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Ferguson, Erin M; Duthie, Jennifer; Unnikrishnan, Avinash; Waller, S. Travis
mode - bus, place - north america, policy - equity, operations - frequency, ridership - disadvantage; Transit network design; Equity; Accessibility
article description
This paper and the proposed formulation contribute to an apparent gap in transit research design by integrating equity considerations into the transit frequency-setting problem. The proposed approach provides a means to design transit service such that equitable access to basic amenities (e.g., employment, supermarkets, medical services) is provided for low-income populations or disadvantaged populations. The overarching purpose is to improve access via transit to basic amenities to: (1) reduce the disproportionate burden faced by transit dependent populations; and (2) create a more feasible transportation option for low-income households as an opportunity to increase financial security by reducing dependence on personal autos. The formulation is applied to data from a mid-sized US metropolitan area. The example application illustrates the formulation successfully increases access to employment opportunities for residents in areas with high percentages of low-income persons, as well as demonstrates the importance of considering uncertainty in the locations of populations and employment.