Transportation systems provide the means for people to reach desired destinations. The ability to travel varies widely, with many travelers facing constraints that cause travel burdens and reduce quality of life. While a significant body of quantitative research evaluates the outcomes of inferred travel constraints using proxy variables (such as income or vehicle ownership), these inferences only partially capture peoples’ experiences and reasoning. Still less is known about these relationships among vulnerable populations that are underrepresented in traditional travel surveys. Qualitative research and targeted surveys can fill these gaps and lay the foundation for improved quantitative travel research and more informed transportation planning.
The research team will evaluate travel burdens in constrained populations in the US using self-reported and inferred data from a large US survey. These results will be used to inform a deeper evaluation of zero-car rural populations which have a high potential for constraint and travel burden. The results of this study will elucidate the relationships between travel constraints and burdens and will illustrate the extent to which self-reported perspectives complement traditional travel surveys. The findings will be useful for researchers and transportation practitioners seeking to better address the challenges faced by constrained populations in the US.