Research Interests – Transport and Society

Transportation and Society

(See publications in this area here)

I am interested in social justice in mobility. This includes giving travelers options that are affordable, environmentally sustainable, supports their economic and human capital development efforts as well as their health and well-being, and which could leverage, to the fullest extent possible, technologically advanced solutions. Research methods supporting this line of work include evaluation designs, indicators, decision support systems, survey research methods and modeling in order to measure labor-market, health, safety and other outcomes experienced by travelers.

I have focused on the importance of developing social science data and e-infrastructures to support problem-understanding and analysis on the aforementioned topics. One such data infrastructure is the Chicago-area Spatial Decision Support System, a small-area highly disaggregated data system on various aspects of social, economic, built-environment and infrastructure (including transportation) data, that has enabled my research to related travel and other outcomes to overall external factors. Current Big Data and Open Data initiatives (see my interests under Transportation and Technology) under the banner of Urban Informatics will enrich the current SDSS.

Another data infrastructure stream is to build a longitudinal data source by linking together the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (since 1966), the US census and the Consumer Expenditure Survey (which has been available since the 1960’s), so yield family, spending, cost and related data for more appropriate perspective to current modeling regarding sustainable transport outcomes – as well as to include the impacts of macro factors such as economic expansions and contractions.

My recent work in this area has been supported by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration and Federal Highway Administration, Community Transportation Association of America, Active Transportation Alliance, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Illinois Department of Transportation and National Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research – University of Wisconsin.

Recent examples in this area of research include:

  • Differential effects of the US economic recession on household vehicle ownership and use;
  • Role of consumer credit on transportation-related choices, including car purchases;
  • Modeling generational trends in car ownership and other travel outcomes among young adults over a forty-year period;
  • Spatial decision support systems for transit and urban planning;
  • Active transportation particularly safety (modeling crash risk for pedestrians and bicyclists) and infrastructure investment aspects;
  • Safety risks to minority and low-income populations;
  • Transportation problems in developing country mega-cities;
  • Accessibility indicators and mobility services for workers;
  • Mobility needs of persons with disabilities and seniors;
  • Labor market externalities of transportation programs;
  • Impact of freight transportation on employment and economic productivity;
  • Modeling transport-built environment relations.

(See publications in this area here)


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