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Non-stop equity: Assessing daily intersections between transit accessibility and social disparity across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)

Ahmed El-Geneidy, Ron Buliung, Ehab Diab, Dea van Lierop, Myriam Langlois and Alexander Legrain

Environment and Planning B, 2016, vol. 43, issue 3, 540-560

Abstract: Public transportation systems generate economic benefits that can potentially reduce social disparities between populations when such benefits are distributed evenly within a region. However, the achievement of equity in the allocation of public resources is not easy to accomplish for land use and transportation planning agencies. This research seeks to determine whether people residing in socially disadvantaged areas in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Canada, experience the same levels of transit accessibility as those living in other areas over the course of a day. Comparisons are presented in terms of regional accessibility, trends by social decile, spatial distribution of accessibility during the day, and travel time impacts. Findings suggest that residents in socially disadvantaged areas have equitable if not better transit accessibility to jobs than socially advantaged groups, and this is reflected in shorter travel times. However, the degree and impact of this advantage varies over the course of the day. Findings from this research can be of interest to transportation planners, engineers, and policy makers as it highlights deficiencies with current equity assessment practices that do not take into account variation in transit services over a 24-h time period.

Keywords: Equity; transit accessibility; competitive accessibility; travel time; low-wage jobs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:43:y:2016:i:3:p:540-560