The National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) is proud to introduce our newest Dissertation Fellow, Nicholas Puczkowskyj of Portland State University, who was awarded $15,000 for his doctoral research project: Expanding Transmobilities: An Art-Informed Methodology For Genderdiverse Travel Behavior.

"My dissertation focuses on understanding how genderdiverse individuals' gender identity influences their travel behavior and travel decisions. I use an art-based methodology by operationalizing collage and mental maps to delicately capture these data. I believe this work will support mobility justice research and the greater social justice movement by further solidifying the field of transmobilities. Additionally, this research seeks to push the boundaries of transportation research by illustrating the power of art as a modality for travel behavior research," Puczkowskyj said.

There is a significant gendered travel behavior research gap in the transportation literature. A plethora of transportation literature identifying and contrasting cisgender disparities exists, but more inclusive approaches to genderdiverse identities remain scarce. The burgeoning field of transmobilities investigates transgender mobility and evolved from the nexus of mobility justice and gender studies by studying transgender experiences on public transit.

Nick's dissertation expands...

Read more

Navigating an unfamiliar place is uniquely challenging for people with disabilities. People with blindness, deafblindness, visual impairment or low vision, as well as those who use wheelchairs, can travel more independently in urban areas with the aid of effective wayfinding technology. A new report from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) explores how to leverage low-cost methods to enable people to more easily move through public, urban indoor and outdoor spaces.

The study, led by Martin Swobodzinski and Amy Parker of Portland State University, used focus groups, two case studies, and an in-person structured wayfinding experience on the PSU campus to find the most helpful ways of getting around. Tactile maps were found to be a very useful resource, with an accessible mobile app also showing promise as an orientation and mobility aid.

The researcher will share more details about this project in a free webinar on December 15: Individual Wayfinding in the Context of Visual Impairment, Blindness, and Deafblindness.

WHY IS THIS RESEARCH IMPORTANT?

Environments and...

Read more

How can relocating homeless services away from a downtown center change transportation patterns for people experiencing homelessness? Researchers Sarah Canham, Jeff Rose, Shannon Jones, Alannah Clay and Ivis Garcia of the University of Utah (UU) have published an article in the September 2022 issue of Health & Social Care in the Community.

The article, "Community perspectives on how decentralising an emergency shelter influences transportation needs and use for persons experiencing homelessness," offers evidence to support the need for no-cost transportation options for persons experiencing homelessness.

The findings draw on the ongoing project Understanding the Impact of Decentralizing Homeless Services on Transportation and Mobility in Salt Lake County, funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC).

Despite steady increases in homelessness in the U.S., only recently has research on transportation needs for persons experiencing homelessness been the focus of research endeavours. To fill this gap in the literature, the research team conducted a qualitative study in which 24 professionals working in planning, transportation, local government, and the homelessness services sector were engaged in in-depth, semi-structured interviews.

...

Read more

Researchers Ivis Garcia, Sadika Maheruma Khan, and Kevin Fagundo-Ojeda of the University of Utah with Miriam Abelson and Nicholas Puczkowskyj of Portland State University have published a new article in the November 2022 issue of Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment.

Scholarship on gendered mobilities has shown that women experience transit differently than men do, particularly regarding personal safety. The article, "Harassment of low-income women on transit: A photovoice project in Oregon and Utah," makes a unique contribution to this body of literature because it shows that women feel targeted also based on their racial or ethnic identity and not only their gender. The article discusses women’s actions every day to increase their sense of safety.

Research has shown that low-income women who are...

Read more

Researchers Jennifer Dill, Jiahui Ma, Nathan McNeil, Joseph Broach and John MacArthur of Portland State University have published a new article in the November 2022 issue of Transportation Part D: Transport and Environment. The open-access article, "Factors influencing bike share among underserved populations: Evidence from three U.S. cities," examines bike share use and interest among lower-income residents and people of color in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

There is evidence that lower-income and people of color (POC) in the U.S. do not use bike share as much as higher-income and white people. Using data from residents living near bike share stations in New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, the paper examines reasons for these disparities. Researchers looked at many factors that might explain bike share use and interest in lower-income, racially diverse, traditionally underserved neighborhoods. They focused on residents who live near bike share stations, so that proximity would not be a barrier.

A few key findings:

  1. People who are not members, but are interested in using bike share, including POC, are motivated to use bike share for fun, recreation, and social reasons (as opposed to utility).
  2. Knowledge of bike share and receiving information from interactive sources (for example,...
Read more

When the COVID-19 pandemic first swept across North America and led to emergency shutdowns during the spring of 2020, the way people acquired food and household necessities was dramatically impacted. As stay-at-home orders minimized personal travel, transit services were reduced and many stores and restaurants either closed or modified their operations. 

Some of the gaps were filled by online retailers and delivery services. However, access to goods and services varied substantially depending on people's age, income level, and ability.

A new multi-university study funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the U.S. DOT-funded university transportation headquartered at Portland State University, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) captured how households responded as local, state, and federal governments imposed and lifted restrictions, brick-and-mortar establishments closed and reopened, and e-commerce and delivery services adjusted to the changing conditions.

The findings of this research are critical for emergency planning, but also for understanding the ever-changing mechanisms used to access retail and service opportunities (whether in person or online). The research identifies opportunities for future interventions to remedy barriers to accessing food, which will...

Read more

Researchers Chandler Smith, Orhon Myadar, Nicole Iroz-Elardo, Maia Ingram and Arlie Adkins of the University of Arizona have published a journal article in the July 2022 issue of the Journal of Transport Geography.

The article, "Making of home: Transportation mobility and well-being among Tucson refugees," is accessible online for free until September 22. It examines mobility challenges that refugees in Tucson, Arizona experience after their resettlement. 

Refugee issues have been brought to the forefront of political and public debate in recent years, and refugee households face many challenges when integrating into new homes and communities, including challenges related to mobility, accessibility, and the availability of transportation options. The study specifically focuses on refugee communities who have resettled in the city of Tucson, Arizona. Arizona has has been one of the top refugee-receiving states in the nation. Tucson alone is currently home to at least 11,500 refugees representing 50 countries and speaking 45 languages.

Using qualitative and quantitative data collected from interviews and survey data, the researchers argue that mobility shapes the ways refugees foster social connections, attain employment and access educational opportunities. Accordingly, barriers to mobility negatively impact...

Read more

Building upon a body of work on electric vehicle adoption funded by the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), a U.S DOT funded university transportation center, University of Utah researchers Xiaoyue Cathy Liu and Nikola Markovic will assist the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) in designing a dynamic service with zero-emission transit vehicles to enhance service equity and efficiency for a vulnerable population. Dr. Liu's earlier NITC work has helped transit agencies transition their fleets to battery electric buses, improving air quality with an eye toward environmental justice.

The UTA has received a new grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) "Areas of Persistent Poverty" program, aimed at creating better transit for residents who have limited or no transportation options. Liu and Markovic are partnering with UTA to improve its paratransit service, which uses gas-powered vehicles and requires passengers to call 24 hours in advance. Working with Andy Hong in UU's Department of City...

Read more

Shared micromobility programs for e-scooters and bike share are becoming more common each year. How can we make sure they aren’t just being used for fun, but they’re also being prioritized for those who need a quick, affordable and accessible way to get around? A team of researchers has collected documentation about equity requirements from 239 shared micromobility programs across the U.S. and compiled all the data into an online dashboard, which city officials can use to find what other similar-sized cities are doing. Equity efforts in one city may pave the way for expanded opportunities in another.

Keeping a focus on equity can make this new technology accessible and affordable, and could improve the lives of people with disabilities, people with low incomes, those who don't have access to a smartphone, and those who live in neighborhoods without good transit access. Led by the University of Oregon's Anne Brown and Amanda Howell, with Hana Creger of The Greenlining Institute, the latest report from the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) took steps toward...

Read more

Researchers Aaron Golub, John MacArthur and Sangwan Lee of Portland State University, Anne Brown of the University of Oregon, and Candace Brakewood and Abubakr Ziedan of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville have published a new journal article in the September 2022 volume of Transportation Research: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Rapidly-evolving payment technologies have motivated public transit agencies in the United States to adopt new fare payment systems, including mobile ticketing applications. The article, "Equity and exclusion issues in cashless fare payment systems for public transportation," explores the challenges facing transit riders in the U.S. who lack access to bank accounts or smartphones, and potential solutions to ensure that a transition to cashless transit fares does not exclude riders. Learn more about the project and read an open-access version of the final report.

The study asks: who is most at risk of being excluded by the transition to new fare payment systems and how would riders pay transit fares if cash payment options were reduced or eliminated? Researchers answer these questions using intercept surveys of 2,303 transit riders in Portland-Gresham, OR, Eugene, OR, and Denver, CO.

The...

Read more

Pages