Steven Farber proposes research agenda for transportation equity at Transport Futures’ Transportation Equity Summit

Twitter screen shot, photo with three speakers seated on stage

Tweet from organizer Martin Collier of Transport Futures captures a point of discussion. (L-R) Dennis Kar, Dillon Consulting, Professor Steven Farber, University of Toronto, and Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, Toronto Transit Commission. Innis Town Hall, December 9, 2019.

Professor Steven Farber spoke at the Transportation Equity Summit presented by Transport Futures on December 9, 2019 at Innis Town Hall.

He was joined on the panel “Building Fair Transit: Balancing Investment, Fares and Service” by Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas of the Toronto Transit Commission and Dennis Kar of Dillon Consulting.

Farber’s contributions to the discussion centred around four main points:

  1. Canadian cities are growing, incomes are polarizing, and poverty is suburbanizing
  2. Many Canadians are at risk of transport-related social exclusion
  3. Transit accessibility helps eliminate the differences in daily activity participation rates between car-owning and zero-car households
  4. Low-income, inner-suburban neighbourhoods respond the most to transit investments in terms of increased participation

He ended his presentation with a proposed research agenda highlighting several areas where he feels more research and exploration are needed:

  • Business case analysis: How should we value equity? Can we value new trip generation?
    • Estimated values?  Imputing values from elsewhere?
  • Transport disadvantage in Canada
    • We have only a bare minimum of data. No national data on automobile ownership, barriers to transit, needs, suppressed activity participation rates.
  • Equity guidelines
    • What levels of accessibility are needed to achieve barrier-free participation? What policy levers do we need to use to get there?
  • Mobility and policy innovation
    • We need more pilots to build evidence and support good ideas, and ignore bad ones.

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