Equity has not been a consideration at all in transportation modeling given its focus on roadway capacity expansion. This has led to transportation modeling evolving into a field that focused on efficiency and moving people from the suburbs through cities in the fastest possible manner while being blind to the inequity it engendered. Our field has been slow to incorporate race and gender into its perspective, and identifying disparities into travel data collection, analysis, and modeling practice. At the same time, women and people of color have been historically, and continue to be underrepresented in the field. More than ever, planners and policy-makers are asking complex equity questions, and considering the effects of transportation decisions on underrepresented populations. Data and models have an important role to play in this analysis since these drive infrastructure decision making. These data and analysis don’t exist in a vacuum. The people who are working in the field make choices about what questions are important to ask, and how to structure data collection, analysis, and model development to explore those questions. Travel models encode assumptions about human behavior that privileges people who have historical held power (white men) above all, and this has led to inequitable investment decisions.
Each speaker presented on their work, followed by a panel discussion. The discussion will focus on next steps that the travel analysis community can take to increase the use of race and gender in travel analysis and increase representation by BIPOC people in the workforce. Event summary and next steps coming soon...
Organized by Jonathan Ehrlich, Metropolitan Council.