Mobility Inclusion for Un(der)served Population with the Emerging Technologies

Transportation equity has long been studied by researchers focusing on people without vehicles, as well as disadvantaged groups including seniors, females, and people with disabilities. With the emergence of new technologies, new transportation equity discussion is needed about people without smartphones, without mobile internet access, or un(der)banked. The emerging technologies have significantly changed and will continue reshaping people’s transit experience. For example, more people are using trip planning apps to schedule travels efficiently, using real-time tracking apps to reduce waiting time, and using mobile apps to reload and pay transit fares conveniently. In addition, people use on-demand transportations such as bike-sharing and car-sharing for short trips and first/last mile accessibility. New technologies are anticipated to make transit more accessible and to enhance people’s mobility. However, many of the new mobility tools require smartphone ownership or mobile bank account, and not everyone is included in this technology revolution. People who lack access to car may be excluded further away from using public transportation and become un(der)served due to their poor economic status and the lack of smart phone or bank account. In addition, great interests are shown to use the big data collected from these new apps for future travel modellings and plans. If this group of un(der)served people’s travel information is missing from the data, their travel patterns and needs will not be considered and modelled, which will result in biased projections. As a result, transit agencies and researchers need to identify the potential problems of un(der)served groups proactively while developing new tools to improve public transportation. This research emphasizes the importance of mobility inclusion for un(der)served populations, and highlights the need to provide equal access to transportation services and information. This project explores current initiatives and strategic plans on how to include un(der)served populations in mobility enhancement. It provides ideas for transit agencies when implementing new technologies for transportation services. It also forces service providers to think about the influence of new mobility tools on the transit experience of un(der)served populations and to develop plans to make sure they, too, benefit from improved transit efficiency. This research can contribute to the current research pool by studying different dimensions of transportation equity from the technological point of view. The objective of this research is to develop guidelines for transit agencies for the inclusion of underserved, underemployed, and low-income current and potential users in new and existing technology-enabled mobility tools implemented on smartphone and internet platforms, to improve transit access and experience for everyone. The main focus is to explore the influence of new mobility tools on un(der)served people’s transit experience with emerging technologies, and to provide recommendations for transit agencies about mobility inclusion initiatives for such populations.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $250000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project B-47

  • 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:

    Parker, Stephan

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

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01690653
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project B-47
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Jan 7 2019 3:04PM