Guidelines for Surveying Hard-to-Reach Populations for Small, Medium, and Large Transportation Agencies

Engaging historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups is essential to the development of equitable transportation services. This focus on transportation equity was strengthened in January 2022, when the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) released its Equity Action Plan, which describes key actions the department will use to expand access to and opportunity with public transportation. The Equity Action Plan focuses on reaching underserved, overburdened, and disadvantaged communities and programmatically enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. The Federal Transit Administration encourages transit agencies to survey their riders to inform transit planning, service, and fare policy decisions. Ensuring that every rider, regardless of income, ethnicity, race, disability status, English language proficiency, etc., has an equal chance to participate in surveys is essential for meeting federal equity objectives and Title VI requirements. Only by gathering the most complete data can transit systems fairly met their riders’ needs. The objective of this research is to produce guidance for public transportation agencies on how to effectively obtain survey data that fully represents the riding population, with particular attention on historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups. The anticipated product of the research is practical information that public transportation professionals and policymakers can readily use.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $100000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project B-55

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Garcia-Colberg, Mariela

  • Start Date: 20241130
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902063
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project B-55
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2023 1:14PM