App-based Data Collection to Characterize Latent Transportation Demand within Marginalized and Underserved Populations

Noelle Fields, University of Texas at Arlington



This interdisciplinary, multi-site, technology transferability study will advance innovative methods in travel data collection and improve the quality of data designed to show latent travel demand, as well as the impacts of mobility on the physical, mental, social, and economic/academic well-being of marginalized and underserved populations living in three diverse regions of the United States (highly segregated and marginalized communities of color in North Texas, a southwest border city, and Appalachia-based rural poverty). The project addresses NITC themes of Increasing Access to Opportunities and Developing Data, Models, and Tools. The proposed study takes the next step in a smart cities, data-collection innovation study that the research team undertook in 2017 by custom-designing an app, MyAmble. The app collects ecological momentary assessment data related to actual, as well as suppressed travel and unserved transportation activities and their association with psycho-social well-being. The MyAmble app significantly innovates travel demand data collection, by providing additional information on latent demand within underserved populations, as well as features to increase participant retention in real-time, longitudinal, and remote data collection. MyAmble measures not only 1) planned and completed trips, but also 2) planned but uncompleted trips, and 3) latent travel demand (desired but unplanned trips due to pre-existing transportation barriers) using a travel diary format with additional features related to qualitative data collection and participation engagement. The current study will test the transferability of the app across larger and more heterogeneous populations and cross-platform compatibility from tablets to smartphones, which advances it from its current technology readiness level of 6 to level 7. We will answer the following four questions: 1) What is the transferability of MyAmble to broader populations of marginalized and underserved communities across 3 states (N = 90); 2) What is the efficacy of MyAmble in a smartphone mode of delivery?;  3) What are the key components necessary for general adoption and use of MyAmble?; 4) What is the quality and usability of the data in terms of showing how types of trips (completed, missed, and latent) associate with physical health, mental health, psycho-social well-being, and economic opportunities for underserved and marginalized populations? 

Project Details

Project Type:
Project Status:
In Progress
End Date:
December 31,2021
UTC Grant Cycle:
NITC 16 Round 4
UTC Funding: