Transportation Accessibility and Livable Communities Patricia Hu Director, Bureau of Transportation Statistics Research and Innovative Technology Administration United States Department of Transportation September 27, 2011
Research & Innovative Technology Administration Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) ITS Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) Office of Research, Development & Technology (RDT) Volpe National Transportation Systems Center Office of Positioning, Navigation & Timing (PNT) Transportation Safety Institute (TSI)
Transportation Secretary LaHood’s Priorities
Safety:reduce fatalities and injuries
State of Good Repair:upgrade and maintain infrastructure
Economic Competitiveness: policies and investments that support economic growth
Livable Communities: increase transportation choices and access
Environmental Sustainability: reduce carbon and other harmful emissions from transportation
Why is livability a transportation priority? More transportation choices reduces costs and helps the environment Integrating the planning of transportation and housing creates more opportunities Improving access enhances quality of life and public health Meeting needs of aged/disabled persons Connecting communities to jobs, healthcare, housing
We are a nation that drives to work Source: American Community Survey (2010 Estimates), U.S. Census Bureau
The growth in travel per capita has been slowing
Vehicles account for ~80% of transportation GHGs
A 2009 BTS survey ranked the importance of selected transportation characteristics in livable communities
That said, the rankings depend on socio-demographics and places of residence, for example Low income households rank local transit more important than the rest of the population Higher income households rank airport access more important The elderly rank sidewalk less important than the rest of the population The difference among those who live in different communities reflects what the community perceives are needed, but that may not be available. For example, rural residents are more concerned about having sidewalks, safe walkable routes to shops and schools.
The challenge in improving transportation accessibility needs to consider: Demographic trends Aging population Low income households Immigrants Land use patterns Walk-able/bike-able Transit availability Safety and security perception
United States 2050: Growing, Aging Population
Total population projected to increase by 42% to 439 million
Projected number of age 65+ doubles to 88.5 million
Age 85+ will increase from 14 to 21% of older population
Ratio of 65+ to working age will be 35 to 100, versus 22 to 100 today
The elderly’s propensity to travel depends on: whether they retain their driver’s licenses, whether public transportation (including paratransit) is accessible, and whether they live alone or with others.
Low-income households primarily drive too The poor in the U.S. reached 46.2 million in 2010 -- the fourth straight increase and the largest number of people living in poverty since record-keeping began 52 years ago. Sources: American Community Survey (2010 Estimates), U.S. Census Bureau; 2010 Transportation Statistics Annual Report, Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Transit ridership remains relatively stable
Between 2005 and 2010, 3.5 million rural residents lost access to scheduled intercity transportation.
Intermodal Passenger Connectivity Database Nationwide database of intercity transportation facilities w/ scheduled passenger services 2,500 facilities (expanding to 6,500 in 2012) Rail stations, airports, ferry terminals, commuter rail terminals Will add light/heavy rail stations & bus stops in 2012 Measures connectivity of transportation system Facilities records have latitude/longitude for GIS apps Web-based map application under development
Data to better understand transportation accessibility National Household Travel Survey Conducted by US DOT Only nationally representative travel survey that links household, person/driver, vehicle, and trip characteristics Conducted in 1969, 1977, 1983, 1990, 1995, 2001, 2009 http://nhts.ornl.gov American Community Survey Conducted by Census of Bureau An ongoing survey that provides data every year Among major demographic factors it asks: “where do you work and how do you get there?” While there is no single data source that can help us to fully understand the impact of transportation accessibility on mobility, the integration of these sources provides more insightful understanding.