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P a r t 2 Toolbox
Tools s e c t i o n 1
C o n t e n t s 83 Synopses of Tools 88 Tool 1 Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 102 Tool 2 Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences 110 Tool 3 Using the National Household Travel Survey to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences 113 Tool 4 Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 140 Tool 5 Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of Tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 151 Tool 6 Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and Travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 178 Tool 7 Using Travel Demand Models for Environmental Justice Assessments 201 Tool 8 Applying a Select Link Analysis to Assess Trip Patterns 211 Tool 9 Analyzing the Value of Time/Willingness to Pay in Environmental Justice Assessments 220 Tool 10 Assessing User Costs and Household Burden Effects 228 Tool 11 Evaluating Disproportionate Effects with Quantitative Methods 235 Tool 12 Instituting Cash Replenishment Options for Unbanked and Underbanked Populations 241 Tool 13 Recycling Tolling Revenue through Transit Investment and Low-Income Assistance as Forms of Mitigation 253 Tool 14 Examining Spatial Patterns and Distribution of Users on Existing Tolling Facilities
83 Synopses of Tools Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for EJ Assessments A demographic profile of social and economic characteristics such as income, race and ethnicity, disability, age, limited English proficiency, educational attainment, time leaving home for work, and âzero-carâ households provides important building blocks about communities for impact assessment. Creating a profile contributes to developing a substantive understanding of the needs of the affected populations, including low-income and minority populations and other traditionally underserved populations. Through the detailed social and economic profile, the practitioner can begin to consider the unique challenges or barriers to participation likely to be faced in trying to engage various population segments in specific communities or region wide. It is a foundational tool for the development and imple- mentation of a thoughtful and inclusive public involvement plan. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences The Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) are computerized files that contain a sample of individual records from the U.S. Census and the American Community Survey, with identifying information removed, that show the population and housing characteristics of the units and people represented on the data records. The sample data supports the assessment of transportation characteristics, including mode of travel to/from work; travel time; vehicle ownership; and assessment of how travel behavior varies by race, income, and demographic categories. Using PUMS allows for a uniquely detailed analysis of household, income, and transportation characteristics at varying geographic scales with a high degree of precision. This dataset is very well-suited for examining the differences in journey-to-work and vehicle ownership character- istics by income levels or racial categories, which can contribute to a better understanding of the financial and mobility challenges within a state or metropolitan area experienced by households and individualsâan important context for considering potential effects of toll road pricing. Toolbox Step: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Assess Impacts Using the National Household Travel Survey to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences The National Household Travel Survey (NHTS) is a nationally representative travel diary survey containing information on more than 150,000 U.S. households, the characteris- tics of the householdsâ members, details of the trips they take on a survey day, as well
84 Assessing the environmental Justice effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox as the characteristics of the vehicles they own and their attitudes toward several transportation issues. Using NHTS allows for a very detailed analysis of householdsâ travel patterns among population subgroups and across a variety of geographic characteristics. For instance, research- ers can examine the differences in transportation choices between low- and higher-income households and across racial and ethnic groups. NHTS contains some information on transpor- tation expenditures, including tolls paid and examines various trip purposes in addition to the work trip. Toolbox Step: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Assess Impacts Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan Developing a public involvement plan (PIP) is an important step in identifying the needs and concerns of the public, including low-income and minority populations in transportation decision-making processes. PIP serves as a procedural guide for agencies and practitioners that describes key considerations and strategies for carrying out public participation activities. PIP should guide all stages of trans- portation decision-making, but is particularly relevant in statewide and metropolitan planning, project design, and environmental review stages of decision-making. The essence of effective environmental justice (EJ) practices has been distilled by the U.S. DOT and FHWA in the Fundamental Principles of Environmental Justice. One of the practices is to ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the trans- portation decision-making process. PIP offers a platform for clearly articulating the agency and practitionerâs planned approaches for ensuring the full and fair participation of low-income and minority populations and other populations on toll-related studies that are likely to be effective in overcoming barriers to participation. Toolbox Steps: Step 3âRecognize the Relevant Decision-Makers and Stakeholders, Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 7âDocument Results for Decision-Makers and the Public, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of Tolling on EJ Populations Focus groups are a qualitative research method involving small group dis- cussions led by a trained moderator (also referred to as a facilitator). The qualitative nature of focus groups comes from the data typically being col- lected in the form of âwhyâ behind peopleâs thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, rather than the quantitative number of people who think, feel, or behave in a particular way. Assessment of impacts of tolling on low-income and minority populations as part of an EJ analysis requires not only valid information on the number of people affected but also an understanding of the essence of those impacts and what meaningful mitigation would be for those affected. Consequently, focus groups are often used in conjunction with quantitative survey research. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Assess Impacts, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and Travel Behavior for EJ Analyses and to Monitor Implementation Surveys are a common means of assessing public attitudes toward tolling facilities, travel behavior, and a willingness to pay for the use of managed lanes and tolling facilities. Properly designed surveys can be used to examine how tolling solutions are perceived in terms of fairness and how they may affect low-income and
synopses of tools 85 minority travelers compared to other populations. This information is important to gather to determine potential EJ impacts and the effectiveness of mitigation strategies. Specific consider- ations should be taken into account when designing and implementing surveys to be responsive to the protected population focus of EJ. To support this process, this tool inventories topics and questions that have been typically used to conduct travel behavior surveys on toll-related projectsâwhether implemented before or after or with panels maintained in both time periodsâ as well as survey collection methods and findings that have resulted from their implementation. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Assess Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Using Travel Demand Models for EJ Assessments Travel demand models are used to forecast and simulate vehicle and person trips on the highway and multimodal transportation systems. TDMs can estimate the quality of the level of flow (travel time, speed, levels of service for regional transportation systems, and individual links in the network). In a tolling context, TDMs are used to assess the impact of tolling projects to capture the systemwide effects of travelers switching to other routes to avoid tolls and to forecast usage of the toll facility under different growth and revenue sce- narios. Revenue forecasts depend on travel demand forecasts and their underlying assumptions. With regard to tolls, TDMs generally model traveler responses to pricing, which can shed light on how various populations may be affected by the pricing change. An understanding of EJ considerations should inform methods taken by travel demand modelers at many of the decision- making stages associated with pricing projects. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Applying a Select Link Analysis to Assess Trip Patterns A select link analysis is a travel demand procedure that shows where trips that traverse a selected link start and end. The beginning and end points of the trips are displayed in various formats, including volumes and percentages. The displays could be shown by bandwidth, color, or numerically. Select link analysis is effective for EJ analysis because it allows the user to apply available out- put of travel demand models to assess and compare the impacts that toll facilities or similar types of transportation improvements will have on travel time and accessibility measures. Once the zones that contain high concentrations of low-income or minority populations are identified, select link analyses can be set up and quickly analyzed to compare scenarios with and without toll facilities in the network. Toolbox Step: Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Analyzing the Value of Time/Willingness to Pay in EJ Assessments The value of time (VOT) and its measurement is a key factor and variable in trans- portation planning, project evaluation and asset calculation, and performance. VOT can be influenced by several factors, including trip purpose, trip timing, trip urgency, work schedule flexibility, and sociodemographic characteristics, among other factors. VOT and its accurate measurement can inform an assessment of EJ effects through its close consideration of the factors that influence potential differences in travel behavior. For EJ, VOT by income
86 Assessing the environmental Justice effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox distribution and trip purpose are important measures to estimate within a region or corridor. VOT can be used to inform the development of toll pricing and account policies that are sensi- tive to the behavioral differences of low-income travelers. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Assessing User Costs and Household Burden Effects User cost assessments examine the economic or financial impact on households of various transportation options, including toll road pricing and their âburdenâ effects on household budgets. The approach estimates the cost of using the tolling facility for low-income and non-low-income households, compares how these costs may differ, and how they may be experienced differently within and between various household income levels. The frame of analysis considers possible regressive effects of travel alternatives (including but not limited to toll road pricing) for individual and/or groups of low-income households. Addition- ally, as transportation costs rise, a potential risk of social exclusion exists for low-income house- holds as a consequence of tolling. The outcome of social exclusion is that affected individuals or groups are precluded from participating fully in the economic, social, and civic activities of the society in which they live. Toolbox Steps: Step 4âScope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts, Step 5âConduct Impact Analysis and Measurement, Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies Evaluating Disproportionate Effects with Quantitative Methods Although Executive Order 12898 directs federal agencies to develop a strategy to identify and address the disproportionately high and adverse human health or envi- ronmental effects of their actions on low-income and minority populations, no guid- ance is provided as to the criteria for the determination of âdisproportionately high and adverseâ effects. The Council on Environmental Qualityâs 1997 guidance on EJ is purposefully vague to allow agencies to integrate analyses of EJ concerns in an appropriate manner. The Texas Depart- ment of Transportation (DOT) and the Washington State DOT have developed quantitative methods to evaluate disproportionately high and adverse effects. Texas DOTâs methods for qualitatively evaluating disproportionately high and adverse effects include statistical analyses to determine if (1) the measured impacts associated with the tolled alternative are statistically sig- nificantly higher than the measured impacts associated with the non-tolled alternative and (2) the impact is statistically significantly higher in zones with greater concentrations of low-income or minority populations. Washington State DOTâs method considers percentage differences for effects rather than statistical tests to determine disproportionate impacts. The two examples briefly describe analytical steps and criteria used to make a determination of disproportionately high and adverse effects on low-income and minority populations. The methods and potential limitations of using solely quantitative methods to make a determination are discussed. Toolbox Steps: Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies Instituting Cash Replenishment Options for Unbanked and Underbanked Populations Cash replenishment options address the possible barrier to use all-electronic tolling facilities because of the absence of credit or debit cards to purchase or make a needed deposit to acquire a transponder or to replenish an account. One of the key consid- erations for addressing EJ considerations with toll implementation is equitable access to the toll facility. As agencies adopt all-electronic tolling systems, individuals without a credit card or bank
synopses of tools 87 account face the prospect of being excluded or financially penalized for their use. Populations in this circumstance may experience a form of social exclusion (i.e., compromised access to jobs and other amenities critical to sustaining a householdâs quality of life). Toolbox Step: Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies Recycling Tolling Revenue through Transit Investment and Low-Income Assistance as Forms of Mitigation Federal law requires toll revenues to be used first to cover the costs of developing, operating, and maintaining the toll facility and providing a return on investment to any private investment partner. Excess revenues may be used for any transportation purpose within the subject corridor for which federal funds would normally be used. Toll pay- ment assistance or infrastructure and transit advancements that benefit EJ communities, a tech- nique known as revenue recycling, are ways to mitigate adverse financial and physical effects of the tolling projects. Recycling toll revenues into transportation infrastructure and services can increase passenger throughput in the corridor and potentially benefit all users, not just those who can afford to pay the fee as single-occupancy drivers, particularly if there is a non-tolled general purpose lane. Subsidizing public transportation services or its needed infrastructure and equipment can offer an option for low-income populations seeking mobility and access along tolled corridors. Dedicating a portion of toll revenues to finance transportation improvements, such as more frequent transit services or vanpools, may offer benefits that offset adverse impacts of tolling and toll facilities for low-income travelers. Toolbox Steps: Step 6âIdentify and Assess Mitigation Strategies, Step 8âConduct Post- Implementation Monitoring Examining Spatial Patterns and Distribution of Users on Existing Tolling Facilities Public records of usage patterns and the income distribution of users of existing tolled facilities can be studied to analyze the distribution of tolling burdens and benefits by income level and geographic area. Although using public tolling data from agencies is possible to analyze the equity and EJ effects of various tolling systems, the practice is not as common as tools that often rely on opinions solicited in surveys or drawn from transportation modeling output. This tool presents case examples to show how available records data can be used to analyze usage patterns, the demographics of users, and the methods and measures used to assess disparities in usage. The research may be used to monitor the equity dimension of existing operations or advocate for mitigation solutions to ensure mobility and access for low-income or other disadvantaged populations. Toolbox Step: Step 8âConduct Post-Implementation Monitoring
88 What Is It? Demographic profiles of social and economic charac- teristics such as income, race and ethnicity, disability, age, limited English proficiency, educational attainment, time leaving home for work, and âzero-carâ households provide important building blocks about communities for impact assessment. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? Creating a profile contributes to developing a substan- tive understanding of the needs of the affected popula- tions, including low-income and minority populations and other traditionally underserved populations. While minority and low-income populations, in accor- dance with the Environmental Justice (EJ) Executive Order (EO) 12898 and subsequent U.S. DOT Order 5610.2(a) and FHWA Order 6640.23A on Environmental Justice, represent the formal demographic focus of community identification for EJ analyses, there is good reasonâin recognition of the definitional overlap between EJ and Title VIâto look more broadly at how projects affect other traditionally under- served populations, including persons with limited English proficiency, foreign-born populations, and persons with disabilities and their transportation needs. Through a detailed social and economic profile, the prac- titioner can begin to assess the unique challenges or barriers to participation likely to be faced in trying to engage various population segments in specific communities or regionwide. It is a foundational tool for the development and implemen- tation of a thoughtful and inclusive PIP. It is a pre-requisite element for preparing plans for working with low-literacy and limited English proficiency populations. t o o l 1 Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments Framework Step â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts â¢ Conduct Impact Analysis and Measurement Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and the National Environmental Policy Act â¢ Implementation Tools and Techniques â¢ U.S. Census Bureauâs American FactFinder and American Community Survey â¢ EPA Environmental Justice Screen â¢ U.S. Housing and Urban Development AFFH Data and Mapping Tool â¢ Threshold Analysis â¢ Environmental Justice Index Method Affected Populations â¢ Low-Income â¢ Minority â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Foreign-Born Populations â¢ Persons with Disabilities Examples Featured â¢ Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, I-680 Corridor â¢ Washington State DOT, SR 520 Bridge Replacement â¢ North Central Texas Council of Governments, EJ Index
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 89 What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? There are many data sources and methods for conducting a preliminary screening to deter- mine whether minority or low-income populations may be affected by the tolling project and to inform the preparation of a detailed social and economic profile. Defining Study Area Boundaries. The location and potential function of the tolled or to- be-tolled facility in making connections to opportunitiesâemployment centers, education, health care, shoppingâshould be considered in defining initial study area boundaries. The initial boundary of a study area for investigating the connections among these features should be relatively large so as not to unintentionally exclude important connections from the analysis. Among the considerations for setting the boundary are: â¢ the location of the tolled or to-be-tolled facility; â¢ the local areas served by the facility and its connecting roads; â¢ the location of minority and low-income communities having access to the facility via con- necting roads and feeding network of roadways; and â¢ the location of opportunity destinations served by the facility and its connecting roadway network. The extent to which a connecting road or roads is itself tolled should be identified so that the cumulative impact of the subject tolling action with other past, present, and reasonably foresee- able tolling actions can be considered. Sources of information on these features typically include U.S. Census products, geographic information system (GIS) data layers, regional travel models, map software, and interviews with relevant specialists, for example, municipal planners, department of health representatives, parks and recreation department representatives, etc. One particularly useful U.S. Census product for establishing the context and boundary of the study area is the American Community Survey (Journey-to-Work) Worker Flow datasets which can be helpful in seeing typical commuting patterns within a metropolitan area. Data Tools and Sources. The U.S. Census Bureauâs American FactFinder and American Community Survey (ACS) provide important sources of demographic information for this profile (see text boxes, Using the U.S. Census Bureauâs American Community Survey and Using the U.S. Census Bureauâs American FactFinder). Table 1 identifies a set of demographic variables from the ACS, including relevant ACS data tables, example metrics, and the most detailed small area geographies reported for each of the data variables. While the U.S. Census, particularly the ACS, are valuable data sources for the characterization of populations, other data sources may also be consulted to inform the identification of popula- tions in an affected environment and to prepare the PIPs and impact assessments. For example, local housing agencies may be able to supply information on low- and moderate-income afford- able and senior citizen housing projects. Workforce development agencies, vocational training institutions, social service providers, and community-based or advocacy-based organizations may be able to share data on client needs, human services transportation providers, or small clusters or pockets of populations that may not be revealed through census data. The U.S. Depart- ment of Educationâs National Center for Education Statistics and state educational departments may have data on student enrollment and participation in the free and reduced price lunch pro- grams that can be a useful supplement to census materials on race and income in various schools and school districts.
90 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Using the U.S. Census Bureauâs American Community Survey The American Community Survey (ACS), a product of the U.S. Census Bureau, pro- vides current demographic, social, economic, and housing information about the countryâs communities. ACS collects and produces population and housing data drawn from surveys every year instead of every 10 years through the U.S. Census Bureau. Approximately 3 million households participate in the ACS annually. Source. ACS is published by the U.S. Census Bureau and can be accessed through multiple sources, including American FactFinder, an online clearinghouse main- tained by the U.S. Census Bureau. Geographies. ACS publishes single-year data for all areas with populations of 65,000 or more. Areas with populations less than 65,000 will require the use of multiyear estimates to reach an appropriate sample size for data publication. In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau began releasing 3-year estimates for areas with populations greater than 20,000. The first 5-year estimates for all census tracts and block groups were released in December 2010, based on data collected from January 1, 2005, to December 31, 2009. With this and subsequent releases, data became available for every state, county, city, town, and place as well as census tracts and block groups. The multiyear estimates will be updated annually, with data published for the largest areas in 1-, 3-, and 5-year formats, and for those meeting the 3-year threshold in both 3- and 5-year formats. Even the lesser populated communities will be able to obtain ACS data based on 5-year estimates annually. Demographic Variables. ACS provides an excellent starting point for accessing census data to profile communities and support demographic mapping. Low- income, minority, limited English proficiency, zero-car, elderly, and disabled persons, among other census-related variables, can be used to reveal social, economic, and travel patterns. Pros/Cons. ACS data is an up-to-date source of population information since it is collected and published every year instead of every 10 years. One- and three- year estimates are generally available with a one to two year lag. For small areas and population groups of 20,000 or less, it takes five years of continued sampling to provide estimates at the local level. The quality of the data at the local level should be closely investigated; many analysts are not familiar with how to use this relatively new but potentially highly valuable and informative data product. ACS data will describe a period of time and require data for 12 months, 36 months, or 60 months to do so. Smaller sample sizes for 5-year ACS estimates will reduce the reliability of estimates. Value. ACS data sets make it possible to prepare a relatively current demographic profile of a community that can be applied to planning or project development studies. The latest release of the 5-year estimates can help identify the presence of minority and limited English proficiency populations, among other tradition- ally underserved populations, at the sub-municipal geographic levels for plan- ning and project development studies, as well as also be referenced for policy research. ACS can generally support profile characterization at both regional and small-area levels.
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 91 Using the U.S. Census Bureauâs American FactFinder American FactFinder is an easy-to-use portal to find population, housing, eco- nomic, and geographic data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is a product of the U. S. Census Bureau and provides access to data collected through the Decen- nial Census, American Community Survey (ACS), Puerto Rico Community Survey, Population Estimates Program, Economic Census, and Annual Economic Surveys. Source. From the 2010 Decennial Census, the total population as well as racial and ethnic data has been compiled in Summary File 1 (SF1) (i.e., data that was col- lected in the short-form census questionnaire distributed to all households). This information is a 100 percent sample of the population. The SF1 file shows detailed tables on age, sex, households, families, relationship to householder, housing units, detailed race and Hispanic or Latino origin groups, and group quarters. Most tables are shown down to the block or census tract level. Some tables are repeated for nine race/Hispanic or Latino origin groups. The nine groups are (1) White alone, (2) Black or African American alone, (3) American Indian and Alaska Native alone, (4) Asian alone, (5) Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone, (6) Some Other Race alone, (7) Two or More Races, (8) Hispanic or Latino, and (9) White alone, Not Hispanic or Latino. The long form is generally being discontinued for most U.S. populations (except territories such as the Virgin Islands and Guam) in favor of the ACS. Geographies. National data aggregated at the state, metropolitan/micropolitan statistical area, county, place, census tract, block group, and block level, among others. Demographic Variables. Low-income, minority, linguistic isolation, zero-car, elderly, and disabled populations, among other social, economic, and travel indicators. Pros/Cons. Provides access to multiple data sources and allows users to create and save detailed and custom tables. ACS data is updated with a lag of 1 to 2 years. Requires some familiarity with data contained in census surveys and does not provide flat data files, limiting the utility of the portal data as a source for performing cross-tabulations (such as with PUMS). Value. This website can be used to prepare a demographic profile of a community that can be applied to planning or project development studies. Depending on how long it has been since the release of the last decennial census, it will become increasingly appropriate to use ACS data, also available on the U.S. Census website, to prepare a demographic profile with intercensal survey estimates. In preparing the profile of a community, practitioners should closely consider whether the subject communities currently bear, or have historically borne, environmental stressors that affect community quality of life and public health. Similarly, the cumulative effects of prior land use and zoning policies, disinvestment, and the past siting of locally unwanted facilities can contribute to patterns of racial or ethnic segregation, income segregation, or isolation of com- munities. Several online tools have been developed that can be informative in understanding how subject communities compare with the region on key measures of health, safety, and the
Variable Example Metrics U.S. Census Product Lowest Geographic Level Data Tables Reporting Variables Household and family type Number of family households 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B11001 Household Type (Including Living Alone) Number of female householders with children, no husband present Mobility Number of workers who drove to work in a car, truck, or van 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B08301 Means of Transportation toWork. Universe: Workers 16 years and over Number of workers who took public transportation to work (excluding taxicabs) Disability Number of females with a disability that did not work in the past 12 months 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group C2303 Sex by Disability Status by Full-TimeWork Status in the Past 12 Months for the Population 16 to 64 Years Number of females without a disability that did not work in the past 12 months Work status (part-time, full-time) Number of females worked in the past 12 months who usually worked 1 to 14 hours per week for 50 to 52 weeks 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B23022 Sex by Work status in the Past 12 Months by Usual Hours Worked per Week in the Past 12 Months by Weeks Worked in the Past 12 Months for the Population 16 to 64 Years Number of females worked in the past 12 months who usually worked 35+ hours per week for 50 to 52 weeks Education (school enrollment and educational attainment) Number of persons with no schooling completed 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B15002 Sex by Educational Attainment for the Population 25 Years and Over Number of persons with master âs degree Table 1. Use of census data for demographic mapping: race, income, and other social characteristics.
Vehicle availability Owner occupied housing units with no vehicle available householder 15 to 34 years 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B25045 Tenure by Vehicles Available by Age of Householder Owner occupied housing units with one or more vehicles available householder 35 to 64 years Language (limited English proï¬ciency) Limited English speaking households that speak other languages at home 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B16002 Household Language by Household Limited English Speaking Status Limited English speaking households that speak Spanish at home Race (race and ethnicity) Population of Non-Hispanic Black or African American People 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B03002 Hispanic or Latino Origin by Race Population Hispanic or Latino White Alone People Income (percent of poverty level) Population with income 50% of poverty status 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group C17002 Ratio of Income Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months. Universe: Population for whom Poverty Status is Determined Population with income 200% of poverty status Female headed households with children Female householder, no husband present: children under 5 years 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B09002 Own Children Under 18 Years by Family Type and Age Female householder, husband present: children under 5 years Median household income Median household income in the past 12 months (in 2013 inï¬ation-adjusted dollars) 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Block Group B19013 Median Household Income in the Past 12 Months (In 2013 Inï¬ation-Adjusted Dollars) Foreign-born status Population born in Western Europe 2013 ACS 5-year estimates Census Tract B05006 Place of Birth for the Foreign-Born Population in the United States Population born in Kenya Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2015
94 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox âgeography of opportunityâ such as school proficiency and proximity to jobs (see text box, Using Available Tools from EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development). Patterns of disparity may be identified from a review of these tools at an early stage of the study, and the tools can also be a resource for identifying some key assets and resources that may be important to consider in planning for meaningful public involvement processes. Using Available Tools from EPA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool. The EPA EJSCREEN tool can be used for quickly compiling information on community health and environmental stressors. In addition to providing a handful of U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) demographic indicators, the EJSCREEN tool presents data and mapping information on select environmental indicators that examine sources of exposure to envi- ronmental pollutants, such as nearby hazardous waste sites or traffic, ambient levels of air pollutants, such as particulate matter (PM2.5), ozone and diesel particulate matter, or air toxics-related cancer risk or a hazard index, which summarizes the ratios of ambient air toxics levels to health-based reference concentrations. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Data and Mapping Tool. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently updated its Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) Regulations, in part, to address issues with fair housing compliance and enforcement. HUD grantees must prepare an Assess- ment of Fair Housing (AFH) to HUD and then incorporate the AFHâs findings into their Public Housing Assessment and Consolidated Plans. All HUD-funded recipients are required to prepare an AFH, including public housing authorities and state and local governments receiving funding from various HUD programs. Grantees are expected to âtake steps to address the issues of segregation and related barriers, particularly as reflected in racially and ethnically concentrated areas of poverty.â HUD has created an online AFFH Data and Mapping Tool (AFFH-T) with tables and maps customized to grantee communities. The data and maps explore the relationships between demographics (e.g., race, poverty, public housing programs, limited Eng lish proficiency, and disability) and measures of opportunity such as job proximity, labor market, school proficiency, transportation costs, and environmental health. Identify Spatial Concentrations of EJ Populations. The geographic scale of the units of analysis varies depending on the study purpose (e.g., statewide or metropolitan planning, corridor-level planning, project environmental review, or program evaluation after implemen- tation). Thus, the unit of analysis may range from metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level or county-level aggregation for regional benchmarking of socioeconomic trends and patterns, to somewhat coarse travel analysis zones for travel demand modeling, to more granular treatments at the tract level, block group, and the block level. The scale of geographic analysis is impor- tant because it will affect how detailed and geographically specific the profile of the potentially affected populations in the impacted areas may be. Minority groups and low-income populations are unlikely to be uniformly distributed over a subject region, but rather may be spatially concentratedâto a greater or lesser extent depending on the regionâin specific communities or areas. Therefore, the practitioner should recognize that the more aggregate the level of the analysis, the higher the probability that pockets of low-income and minority populations may be overlooked. Effort should be made to ensure that the selection of geographic boundaries accurately and fairly represents the presence and concerns of minority and low-income persons in the affected communities. Practitioners should also be prepared to adjust their assumptions about geographic boundaries if new information comes to light. In practice, many planning and environmental studies related to tolling effects rely on data- driven âthresholdâ evaluation methods to facilitate their screening or identification of an
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 95 âEJ communityâ or âcommunity of concern,â although this approach is not always appropri- ate. Thresholds are the comparison values used to make a determination of whether protected populations are located within a study area. The level of EJ concern can be generally assumed to be higher in places that exceed the threshold value (see text boxes, Identifying Minority Popula- tions and Identifying Low-income Populations). Identifying Minority Populations Drawing on the Guidance for Federal Agencies on Key Terms in the Executive Order 12898 on Environmental Justice, Appendix A, several guiding principles and considerations for identifying affected minority populations have emerged. In a 2016 Federal Interagency Working Group report, Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Review, it was noted that the identification of minority populations can be accomplished in various ways, including the following: â¢ No Threshold Analysis. While the use of thresholds to identify minority populations is an established method, it may fail to reveal affected protected populations and this is particularly of concern during the NEPA phase. The No-Threshold analysis seeks to identify all minority populations regardless of popula- tion size. It can be relevant in cases where there are small pockets, transient populations or geographically dispersed populations, or seasonal or migrant workers. The approach should be informed by selecting an appropriate geographic unit of analysis (e.g., census block, block group) and determining the total number of minority individuals (all individuals other than non-Hispanic whites) and the percent minority for each geographic unit of analysis within the affected environment. Mapping and tables should be prepared as appropriate. A written rationale should explain the selection of the geographic unit of analysis, the reference community, and other methods used to identify minority populations. â¢ Fifty Percent Analysis. The Fifty Percent analysis can be conducted to initially identify the extent to which minority populations reside within the affected environment. An aggregate of minority populations over 50 percent for the entire affected environment has been used as indicator for increased scrutiny in the EJ analysis under EO 12898 and may be appropriate (e.g., to assess majority-minority populations). The Fifty Percent analysis can function as a direct measure to ensure the identification of minority populations when they comprise a majority of an appropriate geographic unit of analysis (e.g., block group) regardless of whether the Meaningfully Greater analysis has a similar outcome. Agencies may also conduct the Meaningfully Greater analysis, regardless of the results from the Fifty Percent analysis. â¢ Meaningfully Greater Analysis. In a Meaningfully Greater analysis, agencies identify affected protected populations in situations where a large percentage of the residents is composed of minority individuals. Depending on the study purpose, relevant demographic information on minority population(s) is collected for the appropriate primary study area using an appropriate geographic unit of analysis (e.g., census tract, block group, or block) as well as for a larger scale reference community (e.g., municipal, county, region, or state) to identify the minority population patterns. There are no precise criteria for selection of the appro- priate meaningfully greater threshold for comparison (e.g., 10 or 20 percent greater than the reference community) and it varies by agency. The Meaningfully Greater analysis requires use of a reasonable, subjec- tive threshold. Mapping and tables should be prepared as appropriate. A written rationale should explain the selection of the geographic unit of analysis, the reference community, the meaningfully greater threshold, and other methods used to identify minority populations. Regardless of method for identifying minority populations, it is important to recognize that FHWA expects a thorough consideration. As stated in FHWAâs Frequently Asked Questions on its website: âIt is not correct to suggest that if minority populations are small (such as less than 50%) that there is no need to assess whether there is an Environmental Justice issue. Environmental justice determinations are made based on effects, not population size. It is important to consider the comparative impact of an action among different population groups.â
96 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Identifying Low-Income Populations The 2016 Federal Interagency Working Group report, Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Review, listed several guiding principles and steps for the identification of low-income populations, which are para- phrased below: â¢ Use current U.S. Census Bureau poverty thresholds and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services poverty guidelines. Agencies and practitioners should consider the publication date for poverty data that is used in the U.S. Census Bureauâs poverty thresholds and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser- vicesâ poverty guidelines or other agency-specific poverty guidelines. Using the most current poverty data is preferable, but agencies should also consider whether there are differences in the dates for local, state, and national data. â¢ Refinements to low-income status determinations may be appropriate. Use of local data sources on poverty may be more current than the U.S. Census Bureauâs American Community Survey (ACS) or other periodically collected data sources. â¢ Consider various criteria for defining low-income populations and appropriate thresholds. There are several ways to assess low-income thresholds, such as identifying the proportion of individuals below the poverty level, households below the poverty level, and families with children below the poverty level. Using more than one method may be appropriate for making a determination. â¢ Recognize that low-income populations may be clustered or dispersed and, generally, may not be evenly distributed throughout the general population. Selecting a geographic unit of analysis for the primary study area and reference community (e.g., county, state, or region) without sufficient justification may not accu- rately portray low-income population percentages or could arbitrarily dilute their representation within the selected unit of analysis. If there are small clusters or dispersed populations, the identification of low-income populations may warrant the use of alternative criteriaâan approach that warrants documentation and lays out the rationale for the identification of the low-income population that is analogous to the âno-thresholdâ method for race. â¢ Low-income status need not always be capped at the poverty level. In some instances, it may be appropriate for agencies to select a threshold for identifying low-income populations that exceeds the poverty level. In accordance with these principles, the specific steps for conducting the low-income threshold analysis and the alternative criteria analysis are described in the Working Group report. Preparing a strong written rationale for the selection of data sources and other methods used to identify low-income populations is essential regardless of whether the alternative criteria analysis or low-income threshold criteria analysis is used. While threshold methods can be effective in categorizing communities or places, the practi- tioner should recognize that the method is subjectively defined in terms of its selection of ref- erence geographies and threshold values. In specific circumstances, using a threshold method can be efficient for addressing state, regional, or other large-scale planning-level analyses and acceptance for the method can be usefully fostered through careful technical research as well as through expert panel or public participation processes. However, other methods for identifying and understanding the locations, activities, needs, and effects of tolling actions on EJ popula- tions are generally warranted for environmental or corridor-specific studies and can certainly supplement the threshold method identification approach. Other Methods for Identifying EJ Populations and Activity Spaces. To support planning and project-related EJ assessments, other methods are used to identify areas in communities where protected populations reside, may reside in the future, or to analyze âactivity space.â
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 97 Activity space may be understood as the destinations to which potentially protected popula- tions travel to access jobs, education, and other opportunities or to reach places that are valued for cultural, community, and family life. NCHRP Report 532: Effective Methods in Environ- mental Justice Assessment described 12 such methods for identifying potentially affected pro- tected populations (Forkenbrock and Sheeley, 2004). In Table 2, a summary table from NCHRP Report 532 is shown highlighting key considerations and the context for their use, required data needs, and expertise. These listed methods reaffirm the importance of drawing on local sources of knowledge and public outreach, use of field visits, and conducting surveys to ensure that analysis is more than a desktop exercise. The last three methods referenced apply to analyzing the activity space; their use for specific plans and environmental studies is generally influenced by considerations related to the spatial nature of the effects, the perceived complexity of the effects, and their perceived importance. What Are Its Limitations? There is no uniform method for defining spatial concentrations of EJ populations (i.e., low- income and minority populations that may be affected by a plan or project). Often, the criteria used to identify high concentrations of low-income and/or minority populations will refer to guidelines established by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in its 1997 report, Envi- ronmental Justice Guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act. Consistent with the CEQ guidance, spatial concentrations of EJ populations or EJ communi- ties are likely to be identified when selected small area census geographies (e.g., census blocks, block groups, or tracts) are mapped and categorized in one of the following ways: â¢ The minority population exceeds 50 percent of the population in a potentially impacted area. â¢ The minority or low-income population percentage is âmeaningfully greaterâ in the potentially impacted area than the minority or low-income population in the general population (i.e., the region of comparison) or other appropriate geographic area. â¢ If there is more than one minority group present and the minority percentage, as calculated by aggregating all minority persons, meets one of the above-stated thresholds. U.S. DOT and FHWA have not adopted an enforcement approach that defines specific thresh- olds for identifying low-income or minority populations, although they do require that minority populations be examined separately from low-income populations. On FHWAâs âQuestions and Answers on Environmental Justiceâ webpage, it is cautioned that the terms âminorityâ and âlow-incomeâ should not be combined. There are minority populations of all income levels; similarly, low-income populations may be minority, non-minority, or a mixture in a given area (FHWA, 2015b, Question 8). When identifying EJ populations, agencies may make their own determinations and assump- tions, but these should be conveyed in their planning and environmental documents. The identification of EJ persons or populations must be developed on a âcase-by-case basisâ depending on context, this may mean one person, multiple families, or entire communitiesâ (FHWA, 2015a). Moreover, determinations are to be made based on effects, not population size. The comparative impact of an action among different population groups is of importance. FHWA does not dismiss the possibility of a disproportionately high and adverse effect of a proposed action even when the minority or low-income populations in an area are small. Most pointedly, â[I]t is not correct to suggest that if minority or low-income populations are small (such as less than 50%) that there is no need to assess whether there is an Environmental Justice issueâ (FHWA, 2015b, Question 9).
98 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Method Assessment Level Appropriate Uses Use When Data Needs Expertise Required 1. Local knowledge and public input All Recommended in all situations Initial evaluation of potential for distributive eï¬ects and to assure quality of ï¬ndings of other methods Low Local area/ community involvement 2. Threshold analysis Screening/ detailed Regional plans, State Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)/TIP, system assessment Demographic patterns must be evaluated for large areas Low GIS, census data 3. Spatial interpolation Screening/ detailed Corridor/project Demographic patterns must be evaluated for small areas or population patterns must be evaluated for ï¬nite areas of eï¬ect Medium GIS, census data 4. Field survey Detailed Corridor/project Detailed residence, business, and public space location information is required Low/ medium Global Positioning System (GPS) & photo interpretation can be useful 5. Customer survey Detailed All System users could experience distributive eï¬ects Medium/ high Survey design 6. Population surfaces Detailed Regional plans/ corridor/project Scenario modeling or integration with grid- based modeling packages is required High GIS, census data 7. Historic data review Detailed All Past projects or investment plans are at issue, or when population trends are needed Medium/ high GIS, census data 8. Population projection Detailed Regional plans, STIP/TIP Planning horizon is ï¬ve years or more High Census data, statistical modeling 9. Environmental justice index Screening/ detailed All Combined analysis of multiple demographic factors is needed Medium/ high Census data, GIS 10. Personal interviews Screening/ detailed Regional plans/ corridor/project Analysis of a relatively well-deï¬ned impact area Low/ medium Interview techniques 11. Abbreviated diary Detailed Corridor/project Analysis of movement along a corridor is needed Medium Sampling, surveys 12. Space-time activity analyses Detailed Corridor/project Analysis of movement along a corridor is needed High Sampling, surveys, GIS, GPS Source: Forkenbrock and Sheeley, 2004 Table 2. Summary of methods for identifying protected populations.
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 99 What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? As summarized in Table 2, data needs and cost vary greatly across methods of analysis depend- ing on their use of secondary and primary data sources. The analysis should be complementary with PIP (see tool, âPreparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Planâ) and the principles of fostering meaningful engagement; the level of detail should also be appropriate for the issues involved and the stage of decision-making. Who Has Used It Successfully? Depending on the region and project study purpose, definitions and methods for identifying affected populations or communities of concern and application of geographic study boundaries will vary. First, the selection of the âstudy areaâ in many of the studies refers to a buffered area surrounding the proposed improvement/toll implementation. Often these buffered areas range in size, from as small as 1,500 feet to 0.5 mile. While many current and/or potential facility users may begin future trips from this area, it represents a small segment of the catchment area of potential users as it relates to travel behavior in tolling projects. Example 1: Interstate 680 Corridor, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Fran- cisco Bay Area. The overall study area was determined by mapping the percentage of trips and the number of trips originating in each traffic analysis zone (TAZ) that use one or more of the roadways that would include express lanes within the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) Regional Express Lanes Program (or the MTC Program) for a portion of the trip. The analysis suggested that Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano Counties represented an appropriate study area for the MTC Program. Then, for the project-level analysis, three study areas were defined and considered in the analysis: â¢ Direct Impact Area (DIA). The area most likely to experience the potential direct impacts from the project construction and operation; this includes all census tracts within 0.25 mile of the I-680 corridor. â¢ Extended Resource Area (ERA). The likely users of the proposed express lane facility; this includes the entirety of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. â¢ Region of Comparison (ROC). The study area identified for the MTC Program, used to deter- mine if potential project-related adverse impacts are disproportionate in comparison to the greater area; this includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, and Santa Clara Counties. (Santa Clara County was added because part of the express lane extends into this county.) MTCâs regional travel demand model (TDM) (Travel Model One) was used to review regional travel patterns and identify the area most affected by the express lanes within the MTC Program. The analysis was performed using a select link analysis that simulates the travel patterns of all Bay Area residents on a typical weekday and estimates the traffic flow on every major roadway in the region. The U.S. Census Bureau and ACS data were collected to determine the census tracts that comprise the Direct Impact Area that include EJ populations of concern. For race and ethnicity data, decennial data from 2010 were available for the full population. For poverty information, only sample data were available; ACS five-year estimates (2006 to 2010) were used to identify low-income populations. As a majority-minority region, MTC identified areas with concentrations of minority popula- tions in geographic units where 70 percent or more of the population was identified as minority. As a high cost of living region, concentrations of low-income persons were identified where 30 percent or more of individuals within a geographic unit are below 200 percent of the poverty
100 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox level. MTC used 200 percent of the poverty level to account for the regionâs high cost of living relative to the nationwide federal standard. The appropriateness of these determination thresh- olds were analyzed in the report. Example 2: SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement, Washington State Department of Transportation, Central Puget Sound Region. The environmental analysis used three study areas: the project study area, the Evergreen Point Bridge travelshed study area, and the Pontoon Construction and Transport study area. â¢ Project Study Area. The project study area was used to determine the effect of project construc- tion and operation on the human environment within a specified distance of the construc- tion limits, including the effects on the residents and the people who worked in the project study area. â¢ Travelshed Study Area: The Evergreen Point Bridge travelshed study area was used to under- stand the effects of tolling on bridge users. The Evergreen Point Bridge travelshed study area included the geographic area from which traffic on the Evergreen Point Bridge originates. â¢ Pontoon Construction and Transport Study Area. This geographic area included the sites that Washington State Department of Transportation (DOT) was evaluating for construction of the supplemental stability pontoons required for a new six-lane floating bridge and also included the haul route that would be used to transport the pontoons from the production site to the bridge construction site. EJ analysts used six approaches to collect information on low-income and minority populations: 1. Travelshed determination, 2. Demographic analysis, 3. Surveys of Evergreen Point Bridge users, 4. Focus groups and Spanish language telephone interviews with Evergreen Point Bridge users, 5. Public involvement activities, and 6. Windshield survey. Example 3. EJ Index, North Central Texas Council of Governments, DallasâFort Worth Region. In the DallasâFort Worth region, minority populations account for close to 50 percent of the population. In response to this pattern, the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) applied an EJ index method that identifies block groups with higher âdegrees of vulnerabilityâ using three variables: persons per square mile, percent below poverty, and percent minority. The EJ index method results are applied to categorize block groups as either âprotectedâ or ânon-protected.â Similar to other mathematical indices, the EJ index has some limitations. It is useful for depicting combinations of variables as a single value, which makes it valuable for screening assessments and for mapping. However, the underlying variables comprising the index must be used if more detailed analysis is required (Forkenbrock and Sheeley, 2004). Further description of this method as it was applied by the NCTCOG is described as one of the case examples in the Toolbox (see case example, âUsing an EJ Index to Identify Affected Populations, DallasâFort Worth Metro Regionâ). In addition to the U.S. Census Bureau and the EPA and HUD data tools noted above, several tools in the Toolbox can help describe data sources and methods for the identification of EJ populations. These include: â¢ Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences, â¢ Using NHTS to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences, â¢ Using Travel Demand Model for EJ Assessments, and â¢ Applying a Select Link Analysis to Assess Trip Patterns.
Developing a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inventory for Environmental Justice Assessments 101 Resources FHWA. 2015a. Federal Highway Administration Environmental Justice Reference Guide. Retrieved from https:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/resources/reference_guide_2015/fhwahep15035.pdf. FHWA. 2015b. Questions and Answers on Environmental Justice. Retrieved from http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ environment/environmental_justice/facts/ejfaq.cfm. Forkenbrock, D. J., and Sheeley, J. 2004. NCHRP Report 532: Effective Methods for Environmental Justice Assess- ment. Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D. C. HDR Engineering, Inc. 2013. MTC Regional Express Lanes Interstate 680 Corridor: Environmental Justice Technical Memorandum. Prepared for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Oakland, CA. NCTCOG. 2014. âMobility 2035â2013 Update Appendix B: Social Considerations.â http://www.nctcog.org/trans/ mtp/2035/documents/AppendixB.pdf. U.S. Census Bureau. 2015. American FactFinder. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/ index.xhtml. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 2015. Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Data and Mapping Tool: User Guide. Retrieved from https://www.hudexchange.info/resources/documents/AFFH- Data-Mapping-Tool-User-Manual.pdf. EPA. 2015. EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice Screening and Mapping Tool. Retrieved from https://www.epa. gov/ejscreen/how-interpret-standard-report-ejscreen. EPA. 2015. EJSCREEN Technical Documentation. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/ 2015-05/documents/ejscreen_technical_document_20150505.pdf. EPA, Federal Interagency Working Group on Environmental Justice & NEPA Committee. 2016. Promising Practices for EJ Methodologies in NEPA Review. EPA Pub. No: 300-B-16-001. Retrieved from https://www. epa.gov/sites/production/files/2016-03/documents/iwg-promising-practices-final-033016.pdf. Washington State DOT. 2009. Environmental Justice Discipline Report: SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replace- ment and HOV Project Supplemental Draft EIS.
102 Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences What Is It? PUMSs are computerized files containing samples of individual records, with identifying information removed, that show the popula- tion and housing characteristics of the units and people represented on the data records. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series USA (IPUMS-USA) consists of more than 60 high precision samples of the American population using the U.S. Census and ACS Public Use Micro Sam- ples. IPUMS-USA, an initiative of the Minnesota Population Center, maintains a collection of microdata survey samples compiled by the federal government over more than a hundred years. It is an impor- tant source of quantitative data on changes in the U.S. population. IPUMS-USA seeks to harmonize these samples created at differ- ent times through the development of uniform codes and technical documentation to facilitate analysis of social and economic changes. IPUMS-USA provides these records to researchers through a web- based data platform. Each record in a microdata sample is a person numerically coded for all its characteristics. Records can also be categorized as households or families in order to understand the relationships between residents. The sample data supports the assessment of transportation characteris- tics, including mode of travel to/from work, travel time, vehicle owner- ship and assessment of how travel behavior varies by race, income, and demographic categories. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? Using PUMS allows for a uniquely detailed analysis of household, income, and transporta- tion characteristics at varying geographic scales with a high degree of precision. This dataset is very well-suited for examining the differences in journey-to-work and vehicle ownership char- acteristics by income levels or racial categories, which can contribute to a greater understand- ing of the financial and mobility challenges within a state or metropolitan area experienced by households and individualsâan important context for considering potential effects of toll road pricing. t o o l 2 Framework Step â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Assess Impacts Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and National Environmental Policy Act Tools and Techniques â¢ Descriptive Statistics â¢ Cross Tabulations â¢ IPUMS-USA 1 Percent Sample Affected Populations â¢ Low-Income â¢ Minority Examples Featured â¢ University of Washington, Puget Sound Region, SR 520 Bridge Replacement â¢ Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, Bay Bridge Congestion Pricing Study
Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile transportation Characteristics and Differences 103 What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? The use of PUMS data supports a highly specific and adaptable classification of the low and non-low-income households and the breakdown both within households in these categories and between categories for characteristics such as car ownership, means of commute to work, and travel time to work. Table 1 illustrates how PUMS data can be used to observe trans- portation and racial characteristics of low and non-low-income households throughout the United States. In this example, researchers used the 1 percent sample from the 2013 ACS to examine the transportation characteristics of low and non-low-income households at the national, state, or metropolitan levels. For this analysis, low-income households were defined as households whose income was at or below 100 percent of the poverty level, as determined by the total household income and family size. Non-low-income households were all households whose income was 101 percent or more of the poverty level. In 2013, the 2013 Federal Poverty Level threshold for a family of four was $23,550 and for a family of three was $19,530 within the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia. While not shown here, in some cases, researchers and sponsoring jurisdictions have preferred to adopt a higher threshold for defining low-income in recognition of the high cost of living within a metropolitan region, or in deference to eligibility criteria for other federal programs extended to low-income families such as the free and reduced price lunch program (i.e., free lunches for children in families at 130 percent of poverty level and reduced priced meals in families at 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level). Using descriptive statistics and basic pivot-table tools, characteristics such as car ownership, means of commute to work, and travel time were compared within and between the low and non-low-income household groups. The analysis demonstrates that low-income households have noticeably different travel characteristics than non-low-income households. In particular, low-income households are less likely to have a car available, have fewer cars available, and drive alone to work less. Given that a lower percent of low-income households drive to work alone and that a larger percent take public transportation or other means of commute to work, it is perhaps reasonable to assume that an increase in tolling would affect a proportionately smaller amount of low-income households than non-low-income households. Nonetheless, it is also likely that those who are affected will experience a considerably higher cost burden from increased tolling charges or fees. PUMS data can reveal similarities and differences at state or regional levels, among other geographies. In this example, income and travel patterns for the state of New Jersey and the New York Metropolitan region are shown in comparison with the nation. In this example, the New York Metropolitan region has a significantly greater share of low-income households as a share of all households and, at 31.9 percent of all households, it has at least twice as high a percentage as the nation or the state of New Jersey (Table 1). Comparing New Jersey with the nation, the patterns are broadly similar in terms of the per- centage of low-income households and the percentage of households having car ownership, although some important differences do exist: â¢ New Jersey low-income households are more likely to have cars than nationally (1.47 vs. 1.38) while non-low-income households have fewer cars than the nation (2.06 vs. 2.35). â¢ New Jerseyâs low-income households experience longer commutes relative to non-low- income householdsâa pattern that differs from the national pattern and perhaps reflects the large number of jobs outside the urban areas that have a proportionately greater number of New Jerseyâs low-income Black and Hispanic households.
Transportation and Racial Characteristics U.S. National Level New Jersey State Level New York City Metro Region Low-income Households Non-low- income Households National Total Low-income Households Non-low- income Households Statewid e Total Low- income Households Non-low- income Households Region wide Total Percent of regional population 15.2% 84.8% 100% 14.4% 85.6% 100% 31.9% 68.1% 100% Characteristics of households Cars available (%) 74.7% 93.8% 93.3% 72.3% 93.8% 90.7% 48.6% 88.4% 75.4% Mean number of cars available 1.38 2.35 2.01 1.47 2.06 1.98 0.87 1.94 1.53 Characteristics of workers Commuting mode Drives alone 68.1% 81.8% 80.8% 52.7% 76.0% 74.5% 32.7% 60.4% 52.6% Carpools 13.6% 9.3% 9.6% 13.3% 8.5% 8.8% 8.8% 5.8% 7.4% Public transportation 8.3% 5.0% 5.2% 18.9% 10.9% 11.4% 41.0% 27.6% 31.5% Table 1. Transportation and racial characteristics for low and non-low-income households in the United States, State of New Jersey, and the New York metropolitan region.
Race of population outside group quarters White (Non-Hispanic) 43.7% 66.1% 62.6% 36.1% 60.8% 57.2% 27.9% 67.7% 47.9% Black 20.9% 10.4% 12.0% 20.2% 10.7% 12.1% 21.6% 8.8% 15.4% Hispanic 27.0% 15.3% 17.2% 35.3% 17.0% 19.6% 38.2% 9.9% 24.0% American Indian & Alaskan Native 1.2% 0.5% 0.7% 0.3% 0.1% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% Asian 4.2% 5.3% 5.2% 4.8% 9.6% 8.9% 9.5% 11.4% 10.3% More than two Races or Other 3.0% 2.3% 2.4% 3.3% 1.9% 2.1% 2.6% 2.1% 2.2% Source: IPUMS-USA, 2013 ACS 1YR 1% Sample Note: NYC Metro Region is New York â New Jersey â Newark â Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA. Other commutemode 10.1% 3.9% 4.4% 15.1% 4.6% 5.3% 17.5% 6.2% 8.5% Mean commute time in minutes 23.5 26.1 25.9 31.0 26.7 30.7 33.4 36.4 35.2
106 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Comparing the New York Metropolitan region with the state of New Jersey and the nation, some other differences are apparent: â¢ Car availability among low-income households is significantly lower within the New York Metropolitan region than either the state of New Jersey or the nation. â¢ While public transportation plays an important role in the commute to work in the state of New Jersey, the New York Metropolitan region, which contains several northern New Jersey counties with strong work ties to New York City, exhibits an even higher dependency on public transportation relative to the nation or the state of New Jersey. These differences are particularly pronounced for low-income households. The PUMS dataset can be used to examine race differences of persons and households in poverty as well as travel characteristics. In this case, race/ethnicity data was constructed from two Census variables describing race and Hispanic origin so respondents were assigned to one of six mutually exclusive categories. In this example, the data shows that Non-Hispanic Whites comprise a plurality of low-income households in the nation and in the state of New Jersey, while Hispanics comprise the largest segment of low-income households (38.2%) in the New York Metropolitan region. For households that are not in poverty, the patterns are significantly different. Conversely, minority populations comprise a disproportionate share of the low-income households. While this analysis examines general race characteristics data available through PUMS, it is also possible to use more detailed classification schemes. For example, it is possible to examine countries of origin of Hispanic populations or Asian populations, greater dis- aggregation of multi-racial respondents, or the characteristics of individual Native American tribes, among other population segmentations. What Are Its Limitations? PUMS requires some proficiency in handling and manipulating the dataset. For example, IPUMS users will need a statistical package such as SPSS, SAS, and STATA to handle the data extracts from the website. Technical documentation is required to read that data, coded as ASCII numeric data. Given the size of the U.S. population, the sample file contains household and person weight fields. The demographer undertaking this work must apply these weights in con- ducting analyses. For example, a 1 percent sample from the 2013 ACS for the U.S. and state of New Jersey returns an unweighted and unfiltered 3,132,795 and 88,510 cases, respectively. The New York Metropolitan region returns 179,678 cases for the same 1 percent ACS 2013 sample. The 5 percent sample would be significantly larger. One of the common critiques of demographic research relating to poverty is using too conser- vative an approach to classify the highest income brackets. The highest personal income code is just under $10 million and the highest percent of poverty ratio is set at 501 percent. PUMS data capture information on the commute to work but fail to capture data on non- work-related trips, which consists of a large number of trips taken and may vary from the work trip in terms of the mode of transportation selected. PUMS data also do not provide detailed data on the residential location of the respondent. The Public Use Microdata Area (PUMA) offers a sub-regional geographic reporting unit, but has a minimum population requirement of 100,000. This results in a reporting geography that is large and inconsistent with other jurisdictional or census boundaries, limiting its utility for some research and plan- ning purposes (see text box, IPUMS-USA: Core Features and Limitations).
IPUMS-USA: Core Features and Limitations Integrated Public Use Microdata Series USA (IPUMS-USA) offers the researcher an opportunity to look closely at state and metro area travel through a detailed lens of race and income, but before it can be used for this pur- pose, it is important to understand its core features and limitations. An overview of the tool is provided below, drawing on the language of the IPUMS technical documentation, along with observations about some challenges encountered in working with the dataset to create the files shown here. Microdata. Census microdata are composed of individual records containing information collected on persons and households. The unit of observation is the individual. The responses of each person to the different census questions are recorded in separate variables. Microdata stand in contrast to more familiar âsummaryâ or âaggregateâ data that might be found through use of the U.S. Census Bureauâs American FactFinder. IPUMS does not provide such summary statistics, but rather enables users to generate customized statistics that focus on specific issues of concern to the researcher. Using Weights and Filters. Most IPUMS samples are unweighted or âflatâ (i.e., every person in the sample data represents a fixed number of persons in the population). Approximately one-fourth of the IPUMS samples, however, are weighted, with some records representing more cases than others. Thus, persons and households with some characteristics are over-represented in the samples, while others are underrepresented. Users must apply sample weights to obtain representative statistics: (1) for person-level analyses, the WTPER variable must be applied to have an appropriately weighted sample (WTPER contains the population represented by each individual in the sample) and (2) for household-level analyses, the WTHH variable must be applied to give the number of households in the general population represented by each household in the sample. Because group quarters (collective dwellings) are not usually weighted properly for household-level analyses, it should gener- ally be excluded using the GQ variable. Data Format. IPUMS produces fixed-column ASCII data. Data are entirely numeric. By default, the extraction system rectangularizes the data (i.e., it puts household information on the person records and does not retain the households as separate records). This can lead to distortion in the analyses at the household level. The number of observations will be inflated to the number of person records. The user must either select the first person in each household (PERNUM variable) or select the âhierarchicalâ box in the extract system to get the proper number of household observations. The rectangularizing feature also drops any vacant households, which are otherwise available in some samples. Thus, when performing calculations for persons, and not households, any filter or script implemented to uniquely identify households must be turned off or eliminated in order to accurately analyze the population of persons, appropriately weighted as discussed above. Extracted Data. The researcher downloading requested microdata from the IPUMS website receives, in addition to the ASCII data file, a statistical package syntax file to accompany each extract. The syntax file is designed to read in the ASCII data while applying appropriate variable and value labels. SPSS, SAS, and STATA are supported. Geographic Limitations. As a public use data sample, measures to assure confidentiality have been made, including the suppression of identifying information. Geographic information is somewhat limited, particularly for places with populations less than 20,000. In some places, the threshold is higher, and in some places, only states or regions can be determined. Researcher Flexibility. With IPUMS limitations properly understood, the researcher will enjoy flexibility in examining race, income, and travel characteristicsâamong other issuesâwhich could be informative for con- sidering the socioeconomic context in which tolling decisions are being made. For calculations based on race, for example, it is important to remember that a Hispanic origin is classified separately from other race catego- ries because it is not considered a race, but rather a place or culture of origin. In the example provided, the researchers performed a cross-tabulation of RACE (general variable) and HISPAN in order to calculate those individuals within a particular racial group that identify as Non-Hispanic versus those who identify as Hispanic. Additionally, computations to combine the various Asian racial groups could be informative and can be done inside the program through recoding or later when preparing report tables.
108 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Given that the data can only be downloaded and used via a statistical extraction package (SPSS, SAS, and STATA), obtaining the software and a license presents an up-front cost. The user must be familiar with the technical documentation to interpret the data correctly. A major resource required to complete this analysis is a planner/demographer with experience or knowledge of both the necessary statistical extraction packages and the IPUMS data or ASCII coding. With such a skilled individual, the analysis referenced here could be completed within 2 to 5 days, depending on the userâs prior familiarity with the tool. Who Has Used it Successfully? PUMS data has been used extensively all over the country for a variety of purposes. This discussion has largely focused on how PUMS can be used to develop transportation profiles through the use of customized cross-tabulations. Users of PUMS data, as shown in the example above, can combine the separate race and Hispanic origin census questions to support environ- mental justice analyses. Nationally, PUMS has been used to support research on environmental justice through seg- mentations of commuting behavior by income or race as well as by other specific subgroups such as gender, foreign-born status, and limited English proficiency. Because of its flexibility, PUMS has been used to examine the overlapping relationships between income, race, persons with disabilities, and the elderlyâa type of customized cross-tabulation unavailable through the American FactFinder (Tierney, 2012). These research efforts have been used for transportation, job access, and labor force participation-related studies. PUMS has been used by researchers to support travel demand modeling, travel survey sam- pling validation and weighting, and the development of synthetic population microsimulation (see tool, âUsing Travel Demand Models for EJ Assessmentsâ), among other transportation study purposes (Tierney, 2012). Two examples of its use in tolling are briefly mentioned below. â¢ University of Washington researchers examined the 2007 ACS PUMS for Washington Stateâs Puget Sound Region. The data set included 34,106 individual records and 14,911 households for which sample weights were applied. The PUMS data was then combined with the Puget Sound Regional Councilâs 2006 Household Activities Survey (HAS) to enable consideration of the geographic distribution of travel. The HAS survey contained information on the travel behavior of 4,746 households in the Puget Sound Regional Councilâs region. The University of Washington researchers merged important features of the HAS surveyâspecifically, basic demographic information and latitude and longitude of home and work locationsâto map workersâ probable commuting routes. Using fairly limited data from HAS on income, they were then able to integrate the two data sets and identify low-income and non-low-income workers who were most likely to use routes that would be subject to tolling in the future (Plotnick et al., 2011). Following this approach, the researchers could consider the scale of potential effect of the bridge tolling option on all of the metropolitan regionâs low-income householdsâtaking into consideration those who would and would not likely be commuting via the subject SR 520 Bridge as well as the particular segment of low-income households who would still require the bridge route after its implementation. â¢ The San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Commission used PUMS data to tabulate the income distribution of commuters by means of transportation (e.g., bus versus drive alone versus rail) in support of the Bay Bridge Congestion Pricing Study.
Using Public Use Microdata Samples to Profile transportation Characteristics and Differences 109 Resources Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota. No Date. Integrated Public Use Microdata Sample (IPUMS-USA), Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved from https://usa.ipums.org/usa-action/faq#ques22. Plotnick, R. D., Romich, J., Thacker, J., and Dunbar, M. 2011. âA Geography-Specific Approach to Estimating the Distributional Impact of Highway Tolls: An Application to the Puget Sound Region of Washington State.â Journal of Urban Affairs, Vol. 33, No. 3, pp. 345â366. Ruggles, S., Alexander, J. T., Genadek, K., Goeken, R., Schroeder, M. B., and Sobek, M. 2010. Integrated Public Use Microdata Series: Version 5.0 [Machine-readable database]. University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. Tierney, K. 2012. NCHRP Synthesis 434: Use of the U.S. Census Bureauâs Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) by State Departments of Transportation and Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.
110 What Is It? The 2009 NHTS is a nationally representative travel diary survey con- taining information on more than 150,000 U.S. households, the charac- teristics of the members of the households, details of the trips they take on a survey day, as well as the characteristics of the vehicles they own and their attitudes toward several transportation issues. NHTS (and its predecessor, the Nationwide Personal Transportation Survey) has been conducted seven times since 1969, with the most recent five iterations readily accessible online. NHTS is conducted at irregular intervals and is a repeated cross-sample; the households surveyed in the 2001 survey, for instance, are not the same households surveyed in the subsequent survey (FHWA, 2009). NHTS data are provided in several tables, including a roster of house- holds, a separate table of individuals, a table of the trips taken by house- hold members during a survey day, and a table related to the vehicles owned by the household. Unique identifiers allow researchers to link these files to gain an understanding of the overall travel patterns of house- holds. Additionally, by entering into a data agreement with NHTS pro- gram staff, researchers and practitioners can gain access to geographically specific data for individualsâ home and workplace locations. Certain states and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) have contracted with NHTS program staff to obtain an oversample of their region. These data, in many cases, contain addi- tional questions the state or MPO staff deemed important for regional or statewide planning. These data are typically housed within the MPO; researchers and practitioners may gain access to the data through an agreement with the MPO or state office that houses the dataset. States that requested add-ons in the 2009 NHTS ranged from California and New York to South Dakota and Vermont. MPOs ranging from Chittenden County in Vermont to the Maricopa Association of Governments in Arizona have similarly contracted for add-ons. A full list of add-ons for the 2009 NHTS can be found in the NHTS 2009 Userâs Guide. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? Using NHTS allows for a very detailed analysis of the travel patterns of households among population subgroups as well as across a variety of geographic characteristics. For instance, researchers can examine the differences in transportation choices between lower- and higher- income households, as well as across racial and ethnic groups. NHTS contains some information Using the National Household Travel Survey to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences T O O L 3 Framework Step â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and the National Environmental Policy Act Tools and Techniques â¢ Descriptive Statistics â¢ Cross Tabulations â¢ National Household Travel Survey Affected Populations â¢ Low-Income â¢ Minority
Using the National Household Travel Survey to Profile Transportation Characteristics and Differences 111 on transportation expenditures, including tolls paid. In contrast to the U.S. Census Bureauâs ACS, this dataset examines various trip purposes in addition to the work trip. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? NHTS offers a limited online analysis tool, in which users can produce cross-tabulations of vari- ables, such as the incidence of tolls paid by various income groups. NHTS staff have also produced a number of frequently requested tables as a quick reference for researchers and practitioners. However, the NHTS dataset is most powerful as microdata, downloaded and manipulated in a database management system or a statistical software package. This allows users greater flex- ibility in analyzing particular characteristics and travel patterns across population subgroups or across various geographic contexts. Table 1 includes an example of how NHTS data can be used to observe transportation char- acteristics of low- and non-low-income households throughout the United States. Among the lowest income adults (age 18+) in NHTS, 89 percent are self-identified drivers, while nearly all (97%) of the highest income adults are. Lower-income individuals, when they drive, are consid- erably less likely (5% versus 10%) to pay a toll, either by avoiding tolled facilities or by living in areas without tolls altogether. The modal split between the lowest-earning and highest-earning 25 percent of Americans is less dramatic, with nearly identical rates of driving, but somewhat Category Lowest income 25% Highest income 25% Total Is a driver (age 18+) 89% 97% 94% Paid toll on survey day (drivers only) 5% 10% 8% Travel Modes (all purposes): Car (alone) 42% 43% 43% Car (with others) 44% 44% 44% Bus 3% 2% 2% Rail 0.4% 0.3% 0.3% Bike 0.8% 1.0% 0.9% Walk 10% 9% 9% Trip Purpose: Work-related 11% 18% 16% Shopping 28% 19% 23% Family/personal 33% 32% 32% Social/recreational 27% 31% 29% Table 1. Transportation characteristics of the bottom and top income quartile.
112 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of Toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and Toolbox more transit usage among low-income households. While not shown in Table 1, among the poorest households (the lowest 10%, for instance), these differences are starker. What Are Its Limitations? Accessing NHTS data needs some proficiency in the handling and manipulating of the data- set. Data downloaded from NHTS require the use of a statistical analysis package or a database management package. The raw data are available in SAS and Dbase formats, though ASCII and SAS-Transport data (both loadable in many other software packages) are also available for analysis using other packages such as STATA and R. Given the size of samples, it is not possible to use most spreadsheet software packages to analyze the data. Unfortunately, NHTS is designed to be nationally representative, but not representative at smaller scales of geography, except in those areas that requested an add-on oversample. However, in some instances, skilled researchers may be able to design a re-weighting scheme that could render the dataset more representative at smaller scales of geography, such as a particular region. There are several critiques of demographic research using NHTS. One important critique is that income is reported in income âbins,â thus reducing the granularity of individual house- holdsâ incomes to larger brackets. The highest reported income bracket (greater than $100,000) represents roughly one-quarter of all households in the dataset. Income brackets are much more granular at the lower-income end of the spectrum, using increments of $5,000 per bracket. Another criticism of NHTS data is that the racial composition of the household is reduced to a single variableâthe race/ethnicity of the household respondent, or the person responsible for reporting information on all household members. As multi-racial families become increasingly prevalent in the United States, this type of data reduction has become more problematic. What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? Using the online analysis toolâsufficient for some but not all research questionsâis free, but requires basic knowledge of statistics and some rudimentary familiarity with the logic of programming. Given that the microdataâa far more powerful way of using NHTSâcan only be used via a statistical or database management software package, there is an up-front cost to obtain the software and a license. When downloading the data, the technical documentation is required to read and interpret the data correctly. A major resource required to complete this analysis is a planner/demographer with experience or knowledge in the necessary statistical or database software. Many variables are more useful when re-coded, so more advanced users will find NHTS more useful than less advanced users. With a skilled individual, the analysis referenced in this tool can be completed within 2 to 5 days depending on the userâs prior familiarity with the tool. Who Has Used It Successfully? NHTS has been used extensively all over the country in a myriad of applications, typically when analyzing national trends. MPOs, state agencies, and researchers with access to regional or state level add-on oversamples have used NHTS at smaller scales of geography. Resources FHWA. 2009. National Household Travel Survey. Retrieved from http://nhts.ornl.gov.
113 Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan What Is It? Developing a PIP is an important step in identifying the needs and concerns of the public, including low-income and minority populations, in transportation decision-making processes. As a procedural guide for agencies and practi- tioners, the PIP describes key considerations and strategies for carrying out public participation activities. The PIP should guide all stages of transportation decision-making, but is particularly relevant in statewide and metropolitan planning, project design, and environmental review stages of decision-making. Some PIPs will be broad and cover all public involvement conducted by the transportation agency, while others will be plan or project-specific but will be con- sistent with the agencyâs overall PIP. Tools and techniques for implementing PIPs necessar- ily include establishing the plan, as well as identifying vari- ous policies and practices that can be incorporated into the plan, such as those described below, as well as procedures to periodically evaluate the PIPâs effectiveness in achieving its goals and carrying out its prescribed policies and practices. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? The essence of effective EJ practice has been distilled in U.S. DOT and FHWA guidance in the âFundamental Prin- ciples of Environmental Justice,â which embodies concerns for how transportation decisions are made; their effects on specific affected communities; and in the equitable distribu- tion of benefits that are allocated through the prioritization, investment, design and operations of plans, projects, and other activities. These fundamental principles of EJ include: â¢ Avoid, minimize, or mitigate disproportionately high and adverse human health and environmental effects, includ- ing social and economic effects, on low-income and minor- ity populations; T O O L 4 Framework Step â¢ Recognize the Relevant Decision-Makers and Stakeholders â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts â¢ Conduct Impact Analysis and Measurement â¢ Identify and Assess Mitigation Strategies â¢ Document Results for Decision-Makers and the Public â¢ Conduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and the National Environmental Policy Act â¢ Implementation Tools and Techniques â¢ Prepare and Implement PIP Affected Populations â¢ Low-Income â¢ Minority â¢ Limited English Proficiency â¢ Low-Literacy Populations â¢ Persons with Disabilities Examples Featured â¢ Washington State DOT, SR 520 Bridge Replacement â¢ California Department of Transportation, I-110 High Occupancy Toll Lane â¢ Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Indiana DOT, Ohio River Bridges â¢ Massachusetts DOT, Turnpike All Electronic Toll Collection â¢ Minnesota DOT, I-394 Express Lane â¢ Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, Regional Express Lane Network
114 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox â¢ Ensure the full and fair participation by all potentially affected communities in the transporta- tion decision-making process; and â¢ Prevent the denial of, reduction in, or significant delay in the receipt of benefits by low-income and minority populations. The PIP is a valuable tool for making clear the agency and practitionerâs planned approaches for ensuring the full and fair participation of low-income and minority populations, among other populations, on toll-related studies. At minimum, the PIP should consider carefully potential barriers to participationâsuch as those listed in Table 1âand devise strategies for overcoming such barriers. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? There are several types of activities that can inform the preparation, implementation, and periodic evaluation of a PIP for policy and planning, project design and environmental review, and the implementation stages of decision-making processes. Drawing heavily on the research of NCHRP Report 710: Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking, the following descriptions of tools and techniques provide an overview of the engagement strategies that can be combined to support an analysis of EJ consid- erations in a tolling context. Brief references are made to select case examples of tolling-related projects that have implemented these approaches. Prepare and Implement the Public Involvement Plan. Creating a PIP should be preceded by exploratory and research activities, such as creating a demographic and economic profile or holding meetings with community leaders and organizations, which should be undertaken as early as possible, before project decisions are made. Prepare or Review the Social and Economic Profile of the Study and Project Area. The PIP itself should reflect a comprehensive identification of the various populations in the study and project areas, including its potentially affected protected low-income and minority popu- lations. The scope of the PIP should be informed by a thorough analysis of the social and eco- nomic characteristics of the study area communities. A preliminary inventory and mapping of community facilities and other notable features can be compiled from websites and secondary datasets and should include community gathering places (e.g., playgrounds, senior centers, schools, faith-based institutions) as well as natural or historic features such as important view- sheds (see tool, âDeveloping a Socioeconomic Profile and Community Characteristics Inven- tory for EJ Assessmentsâ). Develop and Maintain Community Contacts Lists. Developing a community contacts list or database that includes organizations and persons that work with, or on behalf of tradition- ally underserved populations, can improve the ability of the agency and practitioner to identify EJ considerations on tolling-related projects. In creating the database, the practitioner and the agency are refining their knowledge of existing community organizations and leaders and gain- ing greater insight about which individuals and organizations have the capacity to engage low- income, minority, and other traditionally underserved populations as part of their membership or constituency. The database itself is a valuable communications management tool, making it easier to target information to community members as widely or narrowly as appropriate for a particular event. Initial Site Visits to Establish the Scope of the PIP. Verifying the quality of the demographic and community facilities data compiled from secondary data sources can be accomplished through field visits. Before the field visit, the practitioner should reach out to knowledgeable
Barriers Resulting Challenges Strategies to Address Barriers Individuals holding multiple jobs/unusual job hours â¢ Time constraints prevent participation in community outreach activities Take outreach activities to them â¢ Schedule community outreach activities for times of days/nights, weekdays/weekends, and locations convenient to them â¢ Identify community events they are attending and go there â¢ Ask large employers if you can sit in break rooms and conduct surveys â¢ Become a vendor at shopping malls, local fairs, and other events they frequent Low level of education/literacy issues â¢ Less understanding of the potential impacts of toll roads â¢ Less understanding of rights â¢ Unable to provide written responses/comments Hire consultants with special expertise in communicating with people who have low or no education â¢ Conduct surveys orally â¢ Use photographs to locate known landmarks on maps â¢ Create a video that describes what is being shown at themeeting â¢ Show before-and-after renderings â¢ Createmorphs and 3D animations â¢ Color code alternatives â¢ Introduce a project, ask for their comments, and repeat the comments back to ensure that you correctly heard them and they know you listened to them Unique family structures (e.g., single parents, multi-generational families) â¢ Time constraints prevent participation due to family obligations, such as caring for children and the elderly â¢ Single parents often pick up their children and go straight home to feed them supper Provide accommodations for children and the elderly during community outreach activities â¢ Hire a licensed and bonded child care provider formeetings â¢ Provide a meal for children and adults so they do not have to go home for supper (continued on next page) Table 1. Strategies to address barriers to participation.
Barriers Resulting Challenges Strategies to Address Barriers Less likely to have modes of personal transportation (i.e., private car) â¢ Greater diï¬culty getting to community outreach activities â¢ Less concerned about toll road projects if they do not intend to use them Hold meetings at locations accessible by public transit â¢ Ask if transportation will be needed to an event and provide a licensed driver and, if needed, wheelchair lift or bike rack â¢ Hold events in their community and bring the chairs and tables and food â¢ Hold events at locations they are familiar with, such as schools, parks, religious organizations, and community centers â¢ Make sure accommodations are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible Less access to internet, smart mobile phones, and computers; computer literacy issues â¢ Use of websites, social media, and emails to inform and involve communities would be ineï¬ective Distribute printed materials â¢ Visit laundry facilities, homeless shelters, employment oï¬ces, food banks, post oï¬ces, bus stops/transit, religious organizations, parks, health clinics, grocery stores, community centers, etc. â¢ Distribute information via local radio stations â¢ Use ï¬yer inserts in newspapers (e.g., Latino papers) or distribute information via school district newsletters/cultural programs Language barriers â¢ Less ability to participate in public involvement issues â¢ Less aware of opportunities to inï¬uence toll road project outcomes Translate public documents, notices, and hearings for limited English speaking populations â¢ Understand that some may only speak their language and not read it â¢ Provide translations and bilingual speakers during community outreach activities â¢ Prepare communicationmaterials for limited English speaking populations (e.g., bilingual ï¬yers, bilingual radio announcements) Table 1. (Continued).
Distrust of government agencies â¢ Less likely to participate in community outreach activities Work with leaders to increase the credibility of the participatory planning process â¢ Hire consultants with special expertise working with low-income or minority populations â¢ Hold public meetings or events in non-governmental (or less traditional) buildings such as schools, religious facilities, and community centers â¢ Provide opportunities for EJ communities to comment prior to making each decision â¢ Keep the community informed, reply to public input promptly and respectfully Limited understanding of how a project will aï¬ect their lives and how participation in the process would beneï¬t them â¢ Less likely to participate in community outreach activities â¢ Need to convince people of their power to inï¬uence decisions Hold informal meetings to increase public understanding of how the project may impact the community and inform the public how their input is important â¢ Show the public how their input has informed decisions â¢ Seek public input early in the process and make information available â¢ Involve the communities in decisions that might aï¬ect them in approvals and implementation â¢ Provide opportunities to comment prior to making each decision â¢ Keep the community informed even when nothing new is happening â¢ Reply to public input promptly and respectfully Cultural diï¬erencesâdiscomfort with meetings â¢ Less likely to attend public meetings and events â¢ More likely to feel event does not invite a true exchange of information Identify preferred community outreach techniques â¢ Open house format â¢ One-on-one interaction â¢ Informal small groups (continued on next page)
Barriers Resulting Challenges Strategies to Address Barriers Process oï¬ered by professional is disconnected from ways cultural groups interact with one another andmake decisions Monetary incentivemay be necessary for attendance at events Refreshments/mealsmay need to be provided Location or time of eventmay not feel accessible andmay not contribute to sense of safety â¢ Groups segmented by religious aï¬liation or secular beliefs â¢ Focus groups/groups segmented by gender, race, ethnicity, and/or nationality â¢ Homes of individuals â¢ Formal presentation with question and answer period â¢ Finding the right combination of processes to provide information and build a two-way dialogue Identify less traditional venues for outreach activities â¢ Religious facilities â¢ Schoolâclassrooms, auditoriums, gymnasiums â¢ Libraries â¢ Community centers â¢ Malls â¢ Discount stores Cultural diï¬erencesâdiï¬culty building trust â¢ â¢ Inability to connect with local leaders who by deï¬nition are busy people engaged in many levels of the community Identify and work with and/or through local liaisons, trusted advocates, and recognized leaders to learnmore about cultural diï¬erences â¢ Local religious leaders, school principals, socialworkers, health care staï¬ â¢ School: English as a second language coordinators, Local: ethnic organization leaders Source: Prozzi et al., 2006; Aimen and Morris, 2012 Table 1. (Continued).
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 119 persons from the community (e.g., city planners, municipal officials, community-based orga- nizations, neighborhood associations) to learn more about the area. Scheduling time to meet and conduct scoping-type interviews with select stakeholders will make it possible to dis- cover community characteristics not revealed from maps or secondary sources (see text box, SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and High-Occupancy VehicleâInitial Site Visits to Scope Efforts). SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and High-Occupancy Vehicleâ Initial Site Visits to Scope Efforts For an environmental study of a bridge project with variable pricing issues in the Puget Sound region of Washington State, analysts reviewed lists of social institu- tions, businesses, and public services that serve low-income populations using websites, phone directories, and comprehensive plans prepared by the regionâs jurisdictions. Previously prepared technical environmental studies were also ref- erenced to identify resources of importance to low-income, minority, or limited English proficiency (LEP) populations such as social services, religious organiza- tions, schools, community centers, recreational facilities, and transit facilities. Businesses were identified that were owned by, served, or employed a number of low-income, minority, or LEP individuals. Windshield surveys were conducted to supplement and validate data. These initial investigations of resources culminated in a report that informed subsequent public outreach strategies. Source: PRR, 2009 The information obtained from the initial site visit and interviews should be woven into the collected social and economic demographics and inform the scope and scale of the PIP. Field visits provide an opportunity to hear the languages spoken on the street, experience some of the everyday transportation problems, notice the age of cars parked in residential driveways, see who works the second-shift, identify areas where people gather, and examine the absence or presence of foot traffic on the street. Community facilities that would be particularly convenient to reach for neighborhood residents and community-based organizations and other stakeholders should be noted. Most importantly, the observations and insights of the community impact practitioner and the public involvement professional should be shared with the project management team early enough to help shape the processes to come. Prepare a Limited English Proficiency Plan. Individuals who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English are considered to have limited English proficiency (LEP). An LEP plan describes the policies, services, and information that a government agency, includ- ing transportation agencies, will take to ensure that LEP persons have meaningful access to the agencyâs programs and activities. An LEP plan will identify the size and locations of low-literacy populations and various foreign-born populations who may not speak English âvery wellâ (see text box, SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and High-Occupancy VehicleâIdentifying Language Translation Needs.) It will also describe the most appropriate approaches that can be taken by the governing entity to ensure that meaningful access is provided to all their programs and activities without imposing undue additional cost burdens. The need for an LEP plan is set forward in EO 13166, Improving Access to Services for Persons with Limited En glish Proficiency, which reaffirms Title VI of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin.
120 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Use âI Speakâ Cards to Ensure Communications with LEP Populations. âI Speakâ cards are two-sided bilingual cards that invite LEP persons to identify their language needs to transportation agency staff. Such cards, for instance, might read âI speak Spanishâ in both Spanish and English. They may also include information about language access rights. These cards can be used to assist LEP people in communicating their need for interpretation and translation services. Offer Assistance for the Hearing Impaired. Some hearing impaired or deaf individuals can speak and/or read lips, while others may rely on American Sign Language or written and visual aids. Others may not be able to write or read well. The first thing to do when encountering a person with a hearing impairment is to identify how the person communicates best. The advent of telephone texting has allowed many to receive and send information of 160 characters or less through their telephones. Thus, it is important to obtain both an individualâs email address and telephone number. Telephone texting allows project information, including short surveys, to be sent to those who are hearing impaired and deaf and for them to respond in a like manner. The telephoneâs vibration option provides them with notice that a message has been received. If pos- sible, an annotated agenda for any upcoming meeting or a copy of the proposed presentation with notes can be sent to an individualâs email address prior to the meeting. This will give the recipient a general idea of the topics under discussion and allow time to formulate any questions or com- ments for the project staff. When talking with individuals who are hearing impaired or deaf, the practitioner should always look directly at them and not at the individual who is signing the message or verbally relaying their response. If the person reads lips, the practitioner should not block the view of his/her face and should talk to them in a well-lighted area, speaking in a normal manner with short, simple sentences. When releasing any written information (e.g., press releases, newspaper articles, emails, websites, or newsletters), the practitioner should provide the TTY number and ask if anyone needs a signer to be present. Offer Assistance for the Sight-Impaired. Some sight-impaired or legally blind (20/200 vision) persons can distinguish colors and/or read large print while others may rely on Braille materials or their hearing. When choosing colors for a display, practitioners should be aware that some SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and High-Occupancy Vehicleâ Identifying Language Translation Needs In the designated study area, census tracts were identified that reported 5 percent or more of the population belonging to an ethnic group with a primary language other than English. Making reference to U.S. Department of Justice guidelines, and consistent with the Washington State Department of Transportation policy, the public involvement team used this criteria as a threshold for determining the need for translation into other languages. Thus, translations were generally warranted when an ethnic group with a primary language other than English comprises 5 percent or more of an area or represents 1,000 or more persons in an area. This criteria revealed several languages that were spoken at home by more than 5 percent of the population in Census tracts in the regional study area, including: African languages, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, other Asian languages, other Pacific Island languages, Persian, Serbian/Croatian, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese. Source: PRR, 2009
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 121 people may be color blind and the name of the color should be written near it. The elderly may require information in a large print format. Those who have a computer with a speech compo- nent and Internet access can access websites that are Section 508 (1973 Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 1986) compliant. All federal agencies, and those agencies receiving federal funds or under contract with a federal agency, are required to comply with this law. For those who do not have computer access, radio reading services for the blind, public service announcements on radio and television, and news stories on radio and television are ways to get information to those that are sight-impaired or blind. When encountering those who are sight-impaired or blind at a public event, the practitioner should first introduce himself/herself and identify who he/she is and what role the practitioner plays on the project. The practitioner should be sure to describe information readily apparent to those who can see and should indicate that new items have been brought into the environment, describing what they are and where they have been put. The practitioner should offer to lead someone, but wait for them to accept his/her offer before proceeding, allowing them to hold his/ her arm rather than holding their arm so they can control their own movements. The practitio- ner should be descriptive when giving directionsââover thereâ has little meaning to someone who cannot see. The practitioner should instead say, âstarting at the corner of Main Street, then going south and crossing Wales Street and Ivey Street. . . .â Practitioners should describe things from the perspective of the sight-impaired, not their own. Some people who are blind use a âclockâ reference for things directly in front of them. If a blind person is accompanied by a guide dog, the practitioner should not interact with the dog while it is working (or in the harness). Offer Refreshments. Refreshments foster a more relaxed setting and put people at ease. Pro- viding food at a meeting can be a way to increase meeting attendance. It allows parents to pick up their child at a day care facility or at home and come directly to the meeting without having to eat first. When people go home first to eat supper, their willingness to attend a meeting may wane and they may remain at home. Having a meal at a meeting can provide an incentive for someone who is low-income to attend a meeting. Often having a meal at a meeting provides neighbors an opportunity to get together and becomes a reason to attend the event. Serving refreshments also provides a time and space for people unwilling to speak out in a crowd to have one-on-one discussions and ask questions in a less formal setting. When served in the middle of a meeting, refreshments can enliven, reinvigorate, or refresh a group that has become tired, bored, or frus- trated. Serving more substantial refreshments can also be a way to get around holding meetings at times that may conflict with meals. Brand Project through Clothing and Other Paraphernalia. Branding projects through clothing and other paraphernalia visually identifies members of the project team in the field or at public events. Distinctive clothing and accessories could include t-shirts, jackets, hats, and badges, among other items. These items draw attention to members of the project team, giving them an identity in places where they may not be known. Branding projects through fashion makes it easier for community members to see that outsiders have a clear purpose for being there. By making team members easily identifiable, they convey the message that they are approachable and open to receiving comments and questions from the public. This can also promote accountability among project team members because it instills in them the idea that they are representing the project to the public. Provide Information. Providing information to the public is the responsibility of transpor- tation agencies and applies to nearly all stages of transportation decision-making, including those activities pertaining to the planning, design, and implementation of toll-related facilities and operations. Low-income and minority populations, no less than other segments of the pub- lic, are entitled to interact with transportation agencies to (1) communicate their needs and concerns, (2) assess the potential impacts of government agency decisions, and (3) learn about
122 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox opportunities to influence decision-making processes. Providing information effectively may require an agency to critically assess its typical practices and adjust them, if needed, to better advertise events, describe activities in a way that clearly conveys coming changes or potential impacts, and work with affected communities, where warranted, to facilitate their informed involvement on projects that may affect them (see text box, SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replace- ment and High-Occupancy VehicleâStrategies to Provide Information). SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and High-Occupancy Vehicleâ Strategies to Provide Information The public involvement team orchestrated several approaches to reach low- income and minority populations in order to provide information and invite feedback on the potential effects of a variable pricing project for its existing SR 520 Bridge, including: â¢ Met with social service agencies throughout the Evergreen Bridge travelshed, which informed the regional study area. â¢ Staffed project information booths at local fairs, festivals, and farmersâ markets that cater to low-income and minority populations. â¢ Hosted public information meetings throughout the study region. Meetings were held in a wide variety of locations on different days of the week and at different times of day. â¢ Posted flyers at transit stops and placed advertisements in publications that cater to low-income, minority, or limited English proficiency (LEP) populations. â¢ Distributed mailings to minority-owned businesses from a purchased mailing list and offered briefings at minority-owned business coalitions. â¢ Placed unstaffed information kiosks throughout the travelshed region at places serving target EJ populations, including libraries, community centers, community colleges, universities, senior centers, and community organizations. â¢ Translated project materials into different languages, including Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. Some materials were translated into Amharic (Ethiopia), Laotian, Somali, and Tigrinya (Ethiopia and Eritrea). â¢ Offered a speakersâ bureau to make presentations on tollingâhow to obtain a transponder and set up an account. Source: PRR, 2009 Toll pricing schedules, account and transponder policies, and other features of tolling opera- tions can seem particularly complex for the public. Practitioners devoted to public outreach must avoid mystifying technical jargon and prepare information and outreach for âregular folks.â The challenge of presenting technical information clearly should not be minimized. The credibility of the agencyâs decision-making process and the legitimacy of the proposed action can be under- mined by a poor communications strategy or insufficient transparency. Inadequate disclosure of information and insufficient candor about project issues can easily backfire, stoking opposition and controversy, which can cause the agency to lose control over its project as it endures delays, political wrangling, and even legal proceedings. New tolling operations can be poorly received by key stakeholders, the public, and the press when they are poorly briefed or when media strategies fail to prepare travelers for the coming changes.
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 123 Distribute Flyers. Flyers can effectively provide information to traditionally underserved populations because they provide flexibility in information dissemination. Flyers can be placed at community activity centers frequented by traditionally underserved populations, written in the language and tone that will best communicate to those populations. Activity centers where flyers are posted can include public buildings such as libraries and post offices, community and senior centers, places of worship, as well as local businesses such as grocery stores, hair salons, and cafes. Flyers can be posted for all to see, and copies of the flyers can be left for people to take with them. Flyers can also be distributed during âwalk-throughsâ in residential neighborhoods. Publicize through Local and Ethnic Media Outlets. Local and ethnic media outlets are key means for reaching populations not necessarily relying on traditional media outlets. âLocal mediaâ refers to neighborhood media such as weekly newspapers targeting a particular part of the town or a neighborhood. âEthnic mediaâ refers to media in a particular language, such as Spanish or Arabic, or English-language media directed to a particular ethnic group such as Asian Americans or Blacks. Local media will focus on neighborhood-related information. As a result, people in that neighborhood are very likely to read it because they know it will contain news about things that may directly affect them. Ethnic media outlets are tailored to the language and cultural interests of the group to which they are targeted. Many ethnic groups look for the media that is directed at them because they know it will have information about activities and persons that are likely to be of interest to them. The overall readership or listenership may be less than the larger, mainstream media outlets, but these outlets are relevant to particular populations and consequently the information can reach its intended audience (see text box, I-110 HOT LaneâAdvertise by Holding Community Workshops). Advertise on Billboards, Marquees, and Variable Message Signs. Billboards and marquees are a way to display large-scale advertisements in highly visible places, such as alongside highways I-110 HOT LaneâAdvertise by Holding Community Workshops Metro and Caltrans invited interested community members to three I-110 Con- gestion Reduction Community Workshop Meetings located along the corridor. The purpose of these meetings was to give interested parties the opportunity to participate in identifying options that would increase traveling efficiency in the corridor. â¢ A total of 38,000 flyers advertising the community workshops were distributed along the I-110 corridor. â¢ Metro advertised the community workshops in more than 20 foreign-language (Spanish, Chinese) and local English newspapers. â¢ Four separate e-mail blasts to more than 1,000 persons on a contact list were notified. â¢ An open house meeting format was followed. Metro, Caltrans, and con- sultants staffed information stations, where they discussed the project, answered questions, and recorded comments. Metro led the question and answer sessions. â¢ One of the three meetings was held as an agenda item on the monthly South Bay Governance Council Meeting. Source: Caltrans, 2010
124 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox or on the sides of buildings. Billboards, marquees, and variable messaging signs can draw atten- tion and communicate a simple message to a captive community traveling through an area. They can be used to advertise for a public event, provide notification of upcoming construction, direct people to an online survey, or thank the community for their involvement. Because of their prominent placement and high visibility, billboards can be particularly effective in reaching groups that are not currently engaged in the topic and creating a buzz about the issue. Use Videos to Convey Information. Videos are a frequently used means for drawing atten- tion and making materials digestible to a wider audience. Videos can convey complex infor- mation on toll pricing projects such as the operations of the facilities and toll account and transponder policies. Videos may be particularly effective in reaching low-literacy and LEP per- sons. They can be disseminated widely to promote a message, frame issues of concern, or deliver information to stakeholders. They can be used to set the stage at public meetings and events, inform survey-takers or focus groups participants, or be shared with news media outlets or on social media (see Figure 1). Figure 1. Videos explaining transponder options for the Ohio River Bridges project.
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 125 Employ Visualization Techniques. Making visualizations an integral part of any presen- tation, newsletter, PowerPoint presentation, website, or newspaper article provides the public with a picture of what is actually being proposed. This increases the publicâs awareness of the project, and allows individuals to consider how the project may affect their lives, communicate this information and awareness to others, and participate more fully in transportation decision- making. Depending on the size and complexity of a project and its budget, a variety of visual techniques can be used. If the project will convert high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, before-and-after photos or visualizations of how the system may function can be used. This technique provides a relatively inexpensive way to show several alternatives at the same location and/or at different locations. If the project is a more complex widening, before-and- after pictures or a computer-generated series of different pictures (i.e., a morph) can be used. The morph representation starts out as a still photograph and then slowly adds features, such as additional lanes, a planted median, bike lanes, sidewalks, or bus pull-offs. This presentation can be repeated in 30-second cycles. If the project is a new multi-lane road, a computer-generated â3D drive throughâ can draw interest. The simulation can show what it would be like to drive through the new facility; however, this type of simulation is more expensive to produce. Flyover simulations are also being used. Animation, such as that shown below in Washington State, can be used to illustrate how various users might use an express toll lane and how its use could also benefit general purpose lanes (see Figure 2). Gather Feedback. Gathering feedback from all populations, including low-income and minority populations, is critical to formulating transportation solutions that will meet the needs of users and address the concerns of affected communities where facilities and services Figure 2. Washington State DOT animation illustrating its proposed I-405 Express Lanes project.
126 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox are to be sited. Traditionally underserved populations may represent a significant portion of the transportation networkâs users or bear the burden of potential adverse impacts, yet oftentimes they are not heard from during the decision-making process. Tools and techniques for gather- ing feedback include methods for engaging those who do not attend traditional public events as well as creative mechanisms for collecting their input. Gathering feedback from the tradi- tionally underserved may require the broad application of a general technique (i.e., holding a meeting in every neighborhood of a study area) or efforts targeted toward specific populations (i.e., conducting focus groups). Conduct Outreach at Non-Traditional Locations. Holding formal and informal events and activities at non-traditional locations is an invaluable means for connecting to traditionally underserved populations. Depending on the targeted population, these locations will vary, but may include places of worship, community centers, social service agencies, settlement houses, senior centers, meeting rooms in apartment complexes, restaurants, hair salons or barber shops, feed stores, shopping malls, convenience stores, community fairs, sporting events, and any other place where traditionally underserved populations may congregate. Practitioners have repeatedly found that going to places where traditionally underserved populations meet, rather than waiting for them to come to an agencyâs event, is more likely to make this population feel more comfortable (see text box, LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River BridgesâSurveys at Grocery Stores). Not all who are encountered will be interested in learning more about trans- portation matters, but there will be some in attendance that are willing to listen and give their candid feedback. LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River BridgesâSurveys at Grocery Stores To understand the toll-related impacts of the LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River Bridges projects on low-income and minority residents, project consultants went to four grocery stores in the project area. With the approval of the store management, on-site surveys were conducted with customers in exchange for an incentive. Source: KYTC and Indiana DOT, 2014a Go to âTheirâ Meetings. Co-sponsorship, participation in, or any other support of meetings held by advocacy groups, employers, and human service or public agencies that serve tradition- ally underserved populations, including low-income and minority populations, can effectively reach target populations âwhere they live.â Efforts to build partnerships with groups and agencies with expertise in working with the target groups can often build trust. Practitioners often begin by creating an asset map or database of the associations, employers, and institutions that work with the target populations in the study area. Representatives within such organizations can be called on to provide advice on issues affecting the target communities, set up meetings, or help make introductions to key individuals. It may also prove effective to work through these contactsâ media (e.g., newsletters, websites) to publicize events and exchange information. For example, practitioners may want to write short pieces for their newsletters, providing contact informa- tion or other facts about ongoing projects or request to add links to their websites regarding a proposed project or other action. It is important to recognize that the âmeetingâ may not actually occur at a gathering place. The real goal is to âreach people where they areâ (see text box, Massachusetts DOT Turnpike
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 127 Massachusetts DOT Turnpike All-Electronic Toll Collectionâ Visiting the New Senior Centers On the occasion of the recent opening of Westfield, Massachusettsâ new Senior Center, Massachusetts DOT was the most popular of the exhibitors. Local seniors attending the event were provided a new E-ZPass Transponder. While the Turn- pike (including the Sumner and Ted Williams Tunnels and the Tobin Memorial bridge) currently has toll booths, MassDOT has plans to eliminate them later in 2016. Seniors who completed an application were handed a transponder to display on their vehicle. Those not opting to use the transponders will receive a bill in the mail and be charged a higher rate for video transaction once the all-electronic system is instituted. Source: LaBorde, 2016 Go to the Faith-Based Institutions. Faith-based institutions can be an effective venue for holding events and providing information to, and getting feedback from, the institutionâs lead- ership and lay membership about transportation, social, or other community-related issues. Practitioners have found that working in partnership with the institution and/or seeking its endorsement can encourage participation, build support for plans and projects, or improve understanding of the effect of the project during the life of the project and future actions. Con- necting to the broader faith-based community affected by the project widens the range of con- tacts within the affected community and can act as a conduit for information exchange. Public meetings in faith-based institutions can establish the trust needed to conduct focus groups, inter- views, surveys, and the like, among various committees, boards, and subgroups (e.g., women, youth, âsoupâ kitchens) affiliated with the institution. The institution can also act as a partner in information dissemination and gathering. Faith-based institutions, in serving their constituents, often overlap and coordinate with human service agencies. Therefore, it is possible to find individuals in both the faith-based insti- tutions and in the social service agencies that truly understand and can empathetically express problems or issues confronted by local populations. Their knowledge and insights about the affected populations or their clientele is often effective in devising outreach and communications strategies that will make it possible to disseminate information and receive meaningful feedback (see text box, I-110 High Occupancy Toll LaneâAttending Conferences to Raise Awareness). Conduct Market Research Interviews and Focus Groups. Interviews and focus group meetings can be effective for exploring the transportation needs, travel behavior and patterns, and attitudes toward pricing of traditionally underserved populations. Especially for low- income persons and groups with limited literacy or English proficiency, understanding these needs, attitudes and travel patterns is appropriate for assessing the potential travel behavior impacts of various tolling-related policies. With proper planning, interviews and focus groups All-Electronic Toll CollectionâVisiting the New Senior Centers). Feedback from the organiza- tionâs contacts and convened participants may come through informal discussions, structured interviews, or in response to presented plans or group discussions. It may help to request to be included on the agenda of meetings that the organizations may hold for their client groups. At such events, practitioners should be prepared to discuss information about the proposed proj- ect, solicit input, and describe the type of follow-up that will occur after the meeting.
128 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox can eliminate literacy, language, and cultural barriers. They can help practitioners develop a better understanding of how various population segments may use contemplated tolling facili- ties, which can vary significantly depending on the group (see text box, Minnesota DOT I-394 Express Lane Focus Groups, and tool, âUsing Focus Groups in Assessing the Impacts of Tolling on EJ Populationsâ). Minnesota DOT I-394 Express Lane Focus Groups Minnesota DOT enlisted The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota to conduct a series of five focus groups to learn of the publicâs perception and attitudes associated with implementing high- occupancy vehicle (HOV) buy-in capabilities on I-394. Source: Buckeye and Munnich, 2006 Undertake Surveys to Understand Needs, Preferences, and Impacts. Surveys and ques- tionnaires can be used to solicit information on travel behavior and attitudes toward toll pricing, understand preferences for various project alternatives or toll account options, and express views on the perceived impacts of various project alternatives, among other topics. They can be used to gather information remotely from a wide range of diverse stakeholders via telephone, email, or websites. They can also be used as a tool to improve direct commu- nications through intercept or in-person interviewing conducted in target communities or with specific stakeholders. Surveys and questionnaires are extremely versatile tools and can be implemented to gather information from a large and/or statistically significant population, as a convenience sample, or simply as a tool for starting and guiding individual conversations (see tool, âDesigning and Implementing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and Travel Behavior for EJ Analyses and to Monitor Implementationâ). They can also be used as tools for ascertaining the most effective ways to conduct other forms of public outreach in specific communities (e.g., What newspapers or publications do you read? What time of day is most convenient for you to attend meetings?). Use Computer-Assisted Technologies to Explore Preferences. Computer-assisted methods may, in some cases, assist in overcoming some barriers to participation by offering new avenues for participation. If structured appropriately, computer-assisted technologies can be (1) less I-110 High-Occupancy Toll LaneâAttending Conferences to Raise Awareness Metro and its outreach consultants staffed a booth at the Ward African Method- ist Episcopal Church, the 84th Session of the Southern California Annual Confer- ence; the Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing; and Mobility 21, the 7th Annual Southern California Transportation Summit. Fact sheets in both English and Spanish were provided, and the participants were invited to submit their input via comment cards, registration forms, and exit surveys. Source: Caltrans, 2010
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 129 daunting than public meetings because supplementary, background information can be easily provided, (2) participation can occur at more convenient times (assuming online, open-hours access), and (3) online access can also help to overcome physical and/or geographic barriers. These tools can be designed to solicit input from stakeholders in a variety of settings from one- on-one individual interactions such as intercept survey using a digital tablet (see tool, âTargeting Local Grocery Stores to Administer Community Surveys, LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Projectâ) to working with multiple respondents in the course of focus groups or neighborhood workshops. Computer-assisted methods can provide aggregate results quickly, present provocative graphics for visualization and maps, and support real-time interactivity such as electronic polling in a large group meeting. Not all populations have ready access to computers in their home or on a âsmartâ mobile device or have comfort with such technologies; therefore, practitioners should avoid overreliance on this approach because it may exclude some individuals or groups from participation. Build Relationships. Efforts to involve the public are sometimes criticized as being âtoo little, too late.â Citizens want to work with responsive public agencies that involve them in a meaningful, collaborative process from the outset, not just when they are upset and feeling left out halfway through a project. Building relationships with leaders from traditionally under- served communities, including representatives from places with higher concentrations of low- income and minority populations, can help agencies engage more effectively with traditionally underserved populations and, ideally, from the outset of the decision-making process. This may include mechanisms for initially âbreaking the iceâ and beginning a civil discussion, to holding a continuing dialogue throughout a project, or defining formal relationships and approaches for garnering trust and strengthening connections. Form Advisory Boards, Committees, Taskforces, and Working Groups. A group of volun- teers that meets regularly on a long-term basis to provide advice and/or support advisory com- mittees can be formed around specific geographic regions, a particular projectâs stake holders, a special interest, or population group. These groups can include diverse stakeholders such as indi- vidual citizens, community-based organizations, elected officials, business owners, and others, including representatives from low-income, minority, or other traditionally underserved commu- nities (see text box, Minnesota DOTâI-394 MnPass Express Lane Project Community Task Force). Minnesota DOTâI-394 MnPass Express Lane Project Community Task Force Minnesota DOT determined that holding education and outreach processes to build greater understanding and public support for the I-394 project were needed. At the request of the Minnesota DOT staff, the governor and the lieu- tenant governor formed the I-394 Express Lane Community Task Force with members of the legislature, community leaders, interest groups, and concerned citizens. The task force was formed to help citizens and stakeholders better understand the project and its goals and provide a means for giving advice and guidance during the development of the project. At the same time, FHWA awarded a Congestion and Value Pricing pilot grant under which Minnesota DOT pursued a program of comprehensive planning, education, and outreach activities on value pricing. Source: Buckeye and Munnich, 2006
130 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Foster Understanding of Communities through Relationships with Community Organi- zations and Other Local Experts. Leveraging relationships with community organizations entails fosteringâformally or informallyâa working arrangement or alliance with social ser- vices organizations, faith-based institutions, community-based organizations, or other groups at the local level that regularly interact with or include members from traditionally underserved populations. These organizations can identify important individuals to contact, become an intermediary with other organizations, and act as a cosponsor on projects. In addition, these organizations can help distribute project information through their own membership, facilitat- ing input and feedback from members of the organization. In some cases, it may be very difficult to connect with underserved populations because of their work status or their difficult indi- vidual circumstances; in such cases, local experts may speak with sensitivity to these conditions or advocate on behalf of underserved populations for specific policies or projects because these experts tend to be highly informed about the community (see text box, Regional Express Lane NetworkâMetropolitan Transportation Commission Program). Regional Express Lane NetworkâMetropolitan Transportation Commission Program Informed by the demographic mapping of high concentration areas of low-income and minority populations, community-based organizations (CBOs) were selected as potential partners for performing focus groups. Participating community- based organizations were selected on the basis of their mission and connection to targeted EJ populations and their ability to host a focus group discussion and recruit 12 to 15 participants within the required time frame of the study. In put- ting together focus groups, community-based organizations were asked to screen participants who were low-income and/or minority individuals who travel in the subject corridors by public transit, carpools, or as solo drivers. Source: Resource Development Associates and Parsons Brinckerhoff, 2013 Working with the ârightâ organizations and individuals can ensure access to community leaders and encourage participation in planning and other transportation-related processes. Building partnerships with community organizations and other local experts can foster trust and be a valuable means for establishing long-lasting, two-way communications to begin to address critical issues interfering with effective public involvement. Recruit and Mobilize âCommunity Ambassadors,â âBeacons,â or âTrusted Advocates.â âCommunity ambassadors,â âbeacons,â or âtrusted advocatesâ are individual citizens or leaders who are capable of bridging the communication gap between agency practitioners and mem- bers of the public. They are individuals who are perceived by other members of the community as trustworthy, approachable, and effective. These ambassadors may be a member of a specific ethnic, racial, and/or cultural group with particular expertise in the culture, language, history, and values of the local community. They know who to contact and how to approach them, which makes it easier to get the word out about what is going on and how and why to partici- pate (see text box, LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River Bridges). A word-of-mouth approach is effective with most populations, but is especially effective with traditionally underserved
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 131 populations because the ambassador or beacon is someone they know and trust to give them good advice. The relationships are already established and people rely on the network to give them good information (see case example, âMobilizing a Local Liaison to Recruit Community Leaders for Survey, LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Projectâ). Assess PIP Effectiveness. The effectiveness of PIP should be periodically assessed to deter- mine if the goals and objectives set forward in the PIP were achieved. The PIP should include specific strategies for reaching low-income, minority, and other affected traditionally underserved populations (see text box, EJ Reference Guide on Documenting Public Involvement). The assess- ment should determine if the implemented involvement strategies were effective in reaching each of these populations and, in fact, whether the events and processes created opportunities for meaningful involvement. It is entirely possible that it may be necessary to do something differ- ent to reach and engage affected protected populations particularly in cases where there may be disproportionately high and adverse effects. The evaluation of the effectiveness of PIP in identifying and engaging EJ populations assumes that the planâs developers have determined, either formally or informally, the need to reach out and involve potentially affected low-income and minority populations. The inclusion of the affected population in the development of effectiveness measures aids in identifying goals, objectives, and practices that are meaningful to both planners and the community. The assess- ment may be done at different stages of the project (e.g., project planning, detailed design and construction documents, construction) as well as after implementation in the monitoring of ongoing operations. Document âEverything.â There are many ways to âtell the storyâ of the public involvement, the community response, the issues that were identified, and how the issues were resolved in collaboration with the impacted community. The practitioner may choose or be directed to develop a project diary (as used by Florida DOT), a Community Impact Assessment Report (fairly common), or follow other reporting procedures using templates established by the DOT or MPO. The process, efforts, and results must be rigorously documented for stakeholder and public review and to protect and defend the integrity of the project and process. Agencies and practitioners should be mindful that thorough documentation of public involve- ment processes conducted with minority and low-income populations is an integral element of the environmental justice analysis and findings conducted during the environmental review stage. Those at FHWA responsible for environmental review will seek evidence in the narrative that sponsoring agencies have incorporated public input into analyses and decisions and that commitments are documented. LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana Ohio River Bridges The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hired a well-known local liaison with deep ties to and trusted relationships in the EJ communities to identify and encourage local leaders to participate in a survey to understand the impact of the proposed tolling of the LouisvilleâSouthern Indiana River Bridges project on the local EJ communities. Source: KYTC and Indiana DOT, 2014b
132 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox What Are Its Limitations? In the context of EJ, full and fair participation means everyone has a clear path to the table and, once there, accorded the same rights as everyone else there to be heard and treated respect- fully. However, despite the good-faith efforts of practitioners, the strategies included in the PIP may prove ineffective in reaching the targeted affected protected populations or conveying information in ways that foster meaningful involvement. Moreover, there are instances where staff or decision-makers within transportation agencies prefer a specific alternative or decision, and seek to âmanageâ their interactions with the public toward that outcome. In such cases, they may adopt a public relations approach that can âspinâ information, or adopt one-way forms of information disseminationârather than foster two-way processes that seek to consult, involve, and collaborate with the affected public. By comparison, fostering âmeaningful involvementâ requires finding strategies to facilitate opportunities for participants to get more informed so that they may express their concerns and influence decisions taken by governing agencies, particularly on matters that could affect their communityâs health, safety, and well-being. In this spirit, strategies should be proactive and recognize the abilities and barriers the public may face in participating, be respectful of the life styles and cultures of the varied public, and seek to overcome factors that may lead to distrust in transportation decision-making. EJ Reference Guide on Documenting Public Involvement Planning regulations in 23 CFR 450.210 and 23 CFR 450.316 require state DOTs and MPOs to document their public involvement process through Public Involvement Plans (PIPs) and participation plans, respectively. In both cases, agencies must âseek out and consider the needs of those traditionally under- served by existing transportation systems, such as low-income and minority households.â Agencies must provide sufficient opportunity for the public and interested parties to provide input on public involvement processes and participation plans. State DOTs and MPOs must establish these public involvement/participation plans before developing any subsequent planning documents. âState DOT public involvement plans and MPO participation plans should include: â¢ Strategies for involving minority populations, low-income populations, other protected groups, and the required âinterested partiesâ in transportation decisionmaking. â¢ Strategies to reduce participation barriers for minority and low-income populations. â¢ Outreach to organizations representing minority and low-income populations. â¢ Mechanisms to ensure documentation and consideration of issues raised by minor- ity and low-income populations. â¢ Periodic review of the effectiveness of EJ strategies and tracking of mitigation measures.â Source: FHWA, 2015
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 133 What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? The costs for the preparation and implementation of PIPs are shaped by several factors. Agen- cies will undertake very different strategies for promoting public participation depending on the stage of decision-making, goals of the project, controversy anticipated by the project, the role envisioned for the public in shaping the decision-making process, and the level of resources that the sponsoring agency is prepared to make. The âspectrum of public participationâ (see Table 2), developed by the International Association of Public Participation, is one means for clarifying the agencyâs goals for public participation and then aligning these goals with appropriate promises to the public and appropriate techniques. For most tolling projects moving through the environ- mental review phase, the public participation goal is likely to fall short of âempowerâ along the participation spectrum. But there are projects in the planning and implementation stages and instances where the project leadership may choose to commit to more collaborative forms of public engagement (e.g., in the selection of alternatives or mitigation options). Public Participation Goal To provide the public with balanced and objective information to assist them in understanding the problem, alternatives, opportunities, and solutions. To obtain public feedback on analysis, alternatives, and/or decisions. To work directly with the public throughout the process to ensure that public concerns and aspirations are consistently understood and considered. To partner with the public in each aspect of the decision, including the development of alternatives and the identiï¬cation of the preferred alternative. To place ï¬nal decision-making in the hands of the public. Promise to the Public We will keep you informed. We will keep you informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how public input inï¬uenced the decision. We will work with you to ensure that your concerns and aspirations are directly reï¬ected in the alternatives developed and provide feedback on how public input inï¬uenced the decision. We will look to you for advice and innovation in formulating solutions and incorporate your advice and recommendations into the decision to the maximum extent possible. We will implement what you decide. Example Techniques â¢ Fact sheets â¢ Websites â¢ Open houses â¢ Public comment â¢ Focus groups â¢ Surveys â¢ Public meetings â¢ Workshops â¢ Deliberative polling â¢ Citizen advisory committees â¢ Consensus building â¢ Participatory decision-making â¢ Citizen juries â¢ Ballots â¢ Delegated decisions Source: International Association of Public Participation, 2007 Increasing Level of Public Impact Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower Table 2. The spectrum of public participation.
134 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox In light of these varying factors, it is difficult to generalize the cost for the preparation and implementation of PIPs because the cost can vary significantly. Drafting a PIP for the Buford Highway (8 miles) project in Atlanta, for example, took just three days to prepare and was put together at a cost of $6,000. However, a far more significant outreach process, integrated into the Business 40 (1.1 miles) project in WinstonâSalem, led to the initial development of a PIP that took more than 30 days and cost approximately $100,000 (Aimen and Morris, 2012). Imple- mentation of the PIP is in addition to the preparation of the PIP. Conducting surveys and other outreach can cost far more than that (see tools on focus groups and conducting surveys and case examples on citizen panels, surveys with local liaison, and surveys at grocery stores for examples on the level of effort for implementation activities). The level of effort for the preparation of a PIP is affected by the quality of previously collected and available data, the implications of that data, the field verification of that data and local condi- tions, and the extent to which additional data sources must be examined to address information gaps to plan for public outreach processes. The cost of preparing and implementing the PIP is also driven, in part, by the results of initial scoping field visits and âbeta-testingâ of outreach efforts. For example, the publicâs responses to questions related to âmeeting convenienceâ (e.g., what time of day/night, what day of the week/weekend, what location) and âproject concernsâ could shape strategies for subsequent outreach activities. When such responses are solicited, it can inform the basis for subsequent effectiveness assessments of the PIP (e.g., it can be used to demonstrate that concerns were heard and addressed as the project progressed through various decision-making stages). Many different practical approaches can be employed to implement an effective PIP: â¢ Train community members. One practical approach for reaching EJ populations is mobi- lizing and training persons from the affected area to assist in performing various forms of public outreach. This may include distributing flyers, survey-taking, and/or holding or participating in a meeting, among other activities (Aimen and Morris, 2012). Once trained, a salary of $15.00 per hour may be appropriate (in many parts of the country) to provide sustainable compensation and reduce turnover during the subject outreach process phase. â¢ Interpreters and translators. The cost of employing an interpreter and translator will vary by location, skills, training, and whether the person performing the task is volunteering their time, working on a personal services arrangement, or affiliated with a professional firm or organization. â¢ Clothing and other paraphernalia. Often a project is branded with a color or a logo. Depend- ing on the number of shirts required, these can run $15.00 or more. On projects that last over several months, more than one shirt may be necessary for each individual. â¢ Incentives. To increase the number of people willing to complete a survey, incentives may be necessary. The cost of these can vary widely from a drawing for an iPad or thumb drive, a childrenâs book or toy, a gift card, or groceries or a culturally appropriate meal. Who Has Used It Successfully? Several examples of practical approaches that have been employed on tolling projects to seek to establish meaningful involvement opportunities and full and fair participation have already been highlighted. Table 3 summarizes many of the practical approaches discussed here and how they can be used to support analysis of EJ in tolling. Further information on these approaches can be found by examining the references presented in the resource section.
4 Develop a social and economic proï¬le â¢ Identify populations â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Informs the development of the PIP â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/ National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 4 Deï¬ne the project and study area â¢ Identify populations â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Informs the development of the PIP â¢ Project Development/NEPA 4 Conduct a community characteristics inventory â¢ Identify populations â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Informs the development of the PIP â¢ Identify community facilities for outreach events â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA â¢ Maintenance and operations 4 Up-front site visits to establish the scope of the PIP â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Validates or invalidates data collected and can identify new information â¢ Provides an opportunity to talk with residents about past history and present conditions â¢ All stages 4 Develop and maintain a community contacts database â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Strengthens communityâs network and expands practitionerâs knowledge of community organizations/leaders â¢ Ensures information is being transmitted to as wide a range of community members as possible â¢ All stages 4 Prepare a limited English proï¬ciency (LEP) plan â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Identiï¬es the size and location of LEP populations â¢ Describes the most appropriate approaches to ensuring meaningful access â¢ All stages Step Tools and Techniques Task Objective How it Supports Analysis of EJ in Tolling Stage of Decision-Making Table 3. Practical approaches for reaching low-income, minority, and other traditionally underserved populationsâ tools and techniques that support analysis of EJ in a tolling context. (continued on next page)
4, 5, 6, 8 Use "I Speak" cards to ensure communications with LEP populations â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Assists LEP populations in communicating their needs for interpretive and translation services 4, 5, 6, 8 Oï¬er assistance for hearing and sight-impaired persons â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Provides opportunities to participate more fully in decisions â¢ Improves awareness of how decisions can aï¬ect their everyday lives â¢ Communicates information/awareness to others 4, 5, 6, 8 Oï¬er assistance for low-literate persons â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Provides opportunities to participate more fully in decisions â¢ Improves awareness of how decisions can aï¬ect their everyday lives â¢ Communicates information/awareness to others 4, 5, 6, 8 Brand project through clothing and other paraphernalia â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Makes it easier for community members to see that outsiders have a purpose for being there â¢ Makes outsiders more approachable and invites comments/questions from the public 4, 5, 6, 8 Oï¬er refreshments â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Helps increase attendance at meetings â¢ Fosters a more relaxed setting and puts people at ease 4, 5, 6, 8 Use videos to convey information â¢ Provide information â¢ Can be an engaging format that encourages participation â¢ May be more easily digestible to a wider audience 4, 5, 6, 8 Distribute ï¬yers â¢ Provide information â¢ Provides ï¬exibility in information dissemination â¢ Conveys information that is clearly visible. 4, 5, 6, 8 Advertise on billboards, marquees, and variable message signs â¢ Provide information â¢ Draws attention and communicates a simple message to a captive audience traveling through an area â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages Step Tools and Techniques Task Objective How it Supports Analysis of EJ in Tolling Stage of Decision-Making Table 3. (Continued).
4, 5, 6, 8 Publicize through local and ethnic media outlets â¢ Provide information â¢ Reaches populations that would not necessarily be reached using mainstream media outlets 4, 5, 6, 8 Employ visualization techniques â¢ Provide information â¢ Increases understanding of the project, broadens awareness of how decisions aï¬ect their lives, and helps communicate this information and awareness to others 4, 5, 6, 8 Conduct outreach at non- traditional locations â¢ Provide Information â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Eï¬ectively involves traditionally underserved populations in locations where they feel safe and comfortable â¢ Increases likelihood of deeper interaction between agencies and the public 4, 5, 6, 8 Go to "their" meetings â¢ Provide information â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Raises awareness of tolling project plans â¢ Receives feedback on potential impacts or preferred mitigation solutions 4, 5, 6, 8 Go to the schools â¢ Provide information â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Raises awareness of tolling project plans â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA â¢ Maintenance and Operations 4, 5, 6, 8 Go to faith-based institutions â¢ Provide information â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Raises awareness of tolling project plans â¢ Receives feedback on potential impacts or preferred mitigation solutions 4, 5, 6, 8 Apply social and new media appropriately â¢ Provide information â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Represents innovative approaches with accessible content 4, 5, Conduct market research â¢ Gather â¢ Helps practitioners develop a better understanding of â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan 6, 8 interviews and focus groups feedback how various population segments access transportation services and travel Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All Stages â¢ All Stages â¢ All Stages (continued on next page)
4, 5, 6, 8 Undertake surveys to understand needs, preferences, and impacts â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Allows extreme versatility in ways to gather information â¢ Can enable better understanding of potential impacts 4, 5, 6, 8 Use computer-assisted technologies to explore preferences â¢ Gather feedback â¢ Can be less daunting than public meetings, occur at more convenient times, and overcome physical and/or geographic barriers by using online access â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA 4, 5, 6, 8 Form advisory boards, committees, taskforces, and working groups â¢ Build relationships â¢ Enables transportation agencies to better understand what the communityâs needs and issues are; how to reach out to these communities at large; and how to avoid, minimize, or mitigate impacts 4, 5, 6, 8 Foster understanding of communities through relationships with community organizations and other local experts â¢ Build relationships â¢ Facilitates input and feedback from members â¢ Creates opportunities to conduct outreach to members â¢ Strengthens relationships with local liaisons 4, 5, 6, 8 Recruit and mobilize community ambassadors, beacons, or trusted advocates â¢ Provide information â¢ Build relationships â¢ Engages those possessing particular expertise in who and how to approach the members of the community â¢ Utilizes existing relationships and networks â¢ Statewide/Metropolitan Planning â¢ Project Development/NEPA â¢ Operations and maintenance 4, 5, 6, 8 Assess PIP eï¬ectiveness â¢ Prepare and implement PIP â¢ Mandates re-evaluation of successfulness in achieving goals and objectives as internal and external dynamics change â¢ All Stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages â¢ All stages Step Tools and Techniques Task Objective How it Supports Analysis of EJ in Tolling Stage of Decision-Making Table 3. (Continued).
Preparing, Implementing, and Assessing a Public Involvement Plan 139 Resources Aimen, D. and Morris, A. 2012. NCHRP Report 710: Practical Approaches for Involving Traditionally Underserved Populations in Transportation Decisionmaking. Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. Buckeye, K. R. and Munnich, L. W., Jr. 2006. âValue Pricing Education and Outreach Model: I-394 MnPass Community Task Force.â Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1960, Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C., pp. 80â86. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). 2010. The Interstate 110 (Harbor Freeway/Transitway) High Occupancy Toll Lanes Project Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Assessment. FHWA. 2015. Federal Highway Administration Environmental Justice Reference Guide. Retrieved from https:// www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/environmental_justice/resources/reference_guide_2015/fhwahep15035.pdf. International Association of Public Participation. 2007. IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. KYTC and Indiana DOT. 2014a. Appendix E3, Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project EJ Community Survey Populations. KYTC and Indiana DOT. 2014b. Appendix E4, Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project, EJ Community Leader Survey. KYTC and Indiana DOT. 2014c. Appendix E5, EJ Comparison of Surveys Conducted to Identify EJ Populationsâ Perceptions of Tolling Options and Potential Mitigation for Disproportionate Adverse Effects of Tolling on Low-Income Commuters and Travelers in the Project Area. LaBorde, T. 2016. âE-Z Pass Transponders Popular at Westfield Senior Options 2016â. Masslive. Retrieved from http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/e-z_pass_transponders_popular.html. PBS&J. 2006. How to Engage Low-Literacy and Limited-English-Proficiency Populations in Transportation Decision- making. Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C. Prozzi, J., Victoria, I., Torres, G., Walton, C. M., and Prozzi, J. 2006. Guidebook for Identifying, Measuring and Mitigating Environmental Justice Impacts of Toll Roads. TxDOT Project 0-5208: Evaluation of Environmental Justice Aspects of the Tolling of Existing Non-Toll and Toll Roads. PRR. 2009. SR 520: I-5 to Medina Bridge Replacement and HOV Project Supplemental Draft EIS: Environmental Justice Discipline Report. Prepared for Washington State DOT and FHWA. Rash, J. 2015. I-405 Express Toll Lanes Part 2: A New Option for 450,000 People Stuck in Traffic. Retrieved from http://wsdotblog.blogspot.com/2015/03/i-405-express-toll-lanes-part-2-new.html. Resource Development Associates and Parsons Brinckerhoff. 2013. Regional Express Lanes NetworkâMTC Program: Final Focus Group and Intercept Survey Summary Report, Prepared for the Metropolitan Trans- portation Commission.
140 What Is It? Focus groups are a qualitative research method involving small group discussions led by a trained moderator (also referred to as a facilitator). The qualitative nature of focus groups comes from the data typically being collected in the form of the âwhyâ behind peopleâs thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, rather than the quantitative number of people who think, feel, or behave in a particular way. As such, focus groups seek to get at an authentic and core values level of analysis. Because this level of analysis requires time for deep probing, focus groups typically have no more than six to ten participants and last from 90 to 120 minutes. One alterna- tive to the size of a focus group is to conduct a series of mini groups, each including three to four participants. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? Assessment of impacts of tolling on low-income and minority populations as part of an EJ analysis requires not only valid information on the number of people affected, but also an understanding of the essence of those impacts and what meaningful mitigation would be for those affected. Consequently, focus groups are often used in conjunction with quantitative survey research. In some cases, focus groups may be conducted prior to a survey as a form of formative research to inform the content of the survey questions. In other cases, focus groups follow the survey and function to shed further light on the quantitative findings. Focus groups can be particularly effective in obtaining input from those with limited English proficiency. One may obtain deeper insights than from survey research, even if the survey is conducted in languages other than English. This is the case because conducting surveys in languages other than English has many challenges, including, but not lim- ited to, increased costs (e.g., for translations, phone number t o o l 5 Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of Tolling on Environmental Justice Populations Framework Step â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts â¢ Identify and Assess Mitigation Strategies â¢ Conduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and the National Environmental Policy Act â¢ Implementation Tools and Techniques â¢ Participant Recruitment â¢ Participant Incentives â¢ Partnering with Community Based Organizations â¢ Facility Features â¢ Moderator Guide â¢ Moderator Style â¢ Analysis and Reporting Affected Populations â¢ Low-Income â¢ Minority Examples Featured â¢ Washington State DOT, I-90 Bridge Tolling â¢ Washington State DOT, SR 520 Bridge Tolling â¢ Metropolitan Transportation Commission, San Francisco, Regional Express Lane Network â¢ Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, SR 85 Express Lanes â¢ Elizabeth River Crossings and Virginia DOT, Elizabeth River Tunnels Tolling
Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 141 Articulation Question âAnd now, a quick question just for fun. If you could invite any person to dinner, living or deceased, who would it be and why?â[RECORD VERBATIM RESPONSE] â¢ If respondent says they âdo not know,â or gives a short response without elaborating, thank and terminate. â¢ If respondent has difficulty hearing, is hard to understand, has poor language skills, or has an extremely heavy accent (for English language focus groups), or you have the slightest doubt as to his/her ability to communicate, thank and terminate. samples targeted by surname, programming in multiple languages) and small sample sizes (unless oversampling is involved). Increasingly, there is interest in online focus groups to reach individuals from a wider geo- graphic area, enabling interested sponsors to receive feedback from persons who might not otherwise be able to attend an in-person focus group. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Conducting focus groups will vary by the nature of the topics being explored, the composi- tion of the target audiences, the style of the focus group moderator, and the available budget. However, the following provides general guidelines that apply to conducting most focus groups, including those with EJ populations. Participant Recruitment. Obtaining input from EJ groups is critical but somewhat chal- lenging. Members of such groups are often more difficult to reach and may require working in languages other than English. â¢ Lists, in which those from some minority groups are identified by surname or live in predomi- nantly minority group sections of a city, can be purchased through sample vendors. Many focus group facilities have their own lists (known as panels) of people who have volunteered to participate in focus groups and can be sorted by race/ethnicity and income. Other useful techniques for recruitment include partnering with community-based organizations that pro- vide services to specific minority and low-income groups, advertising in ethnic newspapers, and outreach through social media. â¢ Recruiting from low-income households, especially those at some percentage of the poverty level, can be done by setting minimum income levels for households of particular sizes. For example, the U.S. Census considered a family of four with an income of less than $23,850 in 2014 to be in the poverty bracket. (However, this metric is applied uniformly across the United States regardless of the local cost of living, which can vary widely. In some higher cost metropolitan regions, one potential solution is to set the criteria for qualifying as âlow- incomeâ as some percentage above the poverty level, such as 200% of the poverty level). â¢ A recruitment screener document is developed that contains criteria such as race, ethnicity, income, and any other criteria to ensure participants are qualified as members of EJ groups. The screener is then used for contacting potential participants. Recruitment screeners often include an articulation question to ensure participants can actively contribute to the group discussion (see text box, Articulation Question for an example).
142 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox â¢ If written materials will be used in the focus group, it is important to include a question in the screener that confirms that the person can both speak and read in the language in which the group will be conducted. â¢ It is best to over-recruit for each focus group since not all potential participants will show. For a group of 8 participants, it is standard to recruit 11 or 12. Incentives for Participants. Recruitment efforts will improve when an incentive is offered to compensate participants for their insights. Cash is often the best incentive, although gift cards can be also be used. When considering the amount of the incentive, it is reasonable to include the cost of travel to the focus group location, parking costs, and the potential need for participants to arrange for childcare. Incentives between $75 and $100 per person are standard, although higher amounts are used for particularly difficult-to-recruit minority groups, as well as for busi- ness owners. Number of Focus Groups to Conduct. At least two focus groups for each target audience are recommended in order to validate what was heard in the first group. For example, when conducting focus groups for the I-405 Express Toll Lanes in Washington State, four focus groups were conducted, two with single-occupancy users and two with carpool users. Location of Focus Groups. Conducting focus groups in formal focus group facilities offers advantages because these facilities routinely handle hosting (e.g., room set up, sign-in and distributing incentives, parking validation, providing food for participants), audio and video recording, and one-way mirrors for unobtrusive observation. However, many communities do not have formal focus group facilities within easy traveling distance for participants, and, even when they are available, other types of facilities may be more familiar and inviting for particu- lar EJ population segments. For example, even though there are numerous formal focus group facilities in Seattle, many researchers choose to conduct their Spanish language focus groups at El Centro de la Raza, a community center well known to the Hispanic community. Another option is to hold the focus groups in a local conference center or hotel conference room that is equipped to deliver a live video feed to an adjacent room so that the focus group can be observed on a monitor. This option can be fairly expensive since it requires hiring a video technician, and hotels typically require that any food served must be purchased from them. Conducting focus groups in locations without one-way mirror observation rooms or live video feeds means that those who want to observe must be seated (out of the way) in the same room as the participants. Although it may seem that the presence of observers in the same room might influence the discussion, many moderators find that participants quickly forget or ignore the observers. In those situations where the presence of observers in the same room would be too disruptive, one can use a high-quality âbaby monitorâ so those in another room can hear the conversation. Online focus groups present another âplaceâ to hold focus groups, and these present some advantages and challenges. A big advantage is that recruitment can be easier because people can participate from the comfort of their homes. The focus groups also can include people from a broad geographic area because travel to a location is not involved. There is also the potential that people will be more willing to discuss sensitive topics more candidly when not in the same room as the other participants. Advances in online focus groups are happening quickly and moving in the direction of being more than online chat sessions where participants simply type in their ideas. There are companies that enable participants to upload documents needed for the discus- sion and then talk to and see each other. Finally, online focus groups are less expensive because there are no facility rental fees, no food costs, and participant incentives can be lower. Some disadvantages include that only those with computers equipped with cameras can participate,
Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 143 and such groups work best with fewer participants (four to five) because the technology works best with fewer people (at least for now). Developing Moderator Guides. The most important thing to keep in mind about the mod- erator guide is that it is a guide and not an exact script that needs to be read word for word. A good moderator will assess the group dynamics and adjust the wording of the discussion ques- tions, and even the order in which the questions are asked, to maintain a conversational tone to the discussion. Doing so means all of the topic areas from the moderator guide are still covered, but in a way that promotes deep insights. Other important guidelines to follow to reach deeper insights include: â¢ Not trying to cover too much in the typically 1.5- to 2-hour period, â¢ Building in additional probing questions relative to each main question, â¢ Identifying how long each section of the discussion should take and writing down the time each section should start (this will help the moderator stay on time and avoid having to rush through later sections), and â¢ Building in points in the moderator guide where the moderator stops to ask observers if there are any additional questions that they want asked. Moderating Focus Groups. Although each moderator will bring his/her own experience and style to the focus groups, there are characteristics that are common to good moderators: â¢ Being curious about how people think, feel, and behave, while remaining objective or detached so as not to bias the discussion. This approach gets people to open up and talk and may gener- ate important âon-the-flyâ probes. â¢ Being an excellent listener while juggling multiple âmoderator ballsâ in the air at the same time, such as keeping track of time available to ensure all topic areas are covered, reordering topic areas from the moderator guide in the moment to encourage discussion and sharing of ideas, and maintaining control of the conversation to make sure all topic areas are covered and discussion remains focused. â¢ Being personable and putting people at ease by striking the right balance between being the âprofessional moderatorâ and âa nice person.â This may involve knowing when and how much to feign ignorance about the focus group topic as a means of drawing people out and obtaining more in-depth information. Ensuring No One Dominates the Group and that âGroup Thinkâ Does Not Happen. Experienced moderators are particularly aware of their responsibility to ensure that no one indi- vidual dominates the focus group and the diversity of voices and opinions are explored. Group discussion may be stifled when someone dominates the group, causing other participants to not share conflicting viewpoints and to be overly influenced (often unconsciously) by the viewpoints of the dominating group member. Nonetheless, focus group members are influenced by the ideas of other group members, and, in fact, one of the benefits of focus groups is the synergy of ideas as the discussion occurs. But it is also useful to capture focus group memberâs ideas before they are influenced by the group discussion. This can be done though several techniques, including, but not limited to: â¢ Pre-group online surveys to get participantsâ initial impressions about key issues regard- ing the focus group topic. This step has the added benefit of giving the moderator a good idea of where the group stands before it convenes and can inform the development of the moderator guide. â¢ Pre-group participant diaries in which participants record information (through text and images) about their relationship to the focus group topic. For example, focus groups comprising
144 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox those below the poverty line could ask participants to record what they think, feel, and do about the impact of tolls on their household budget in the week prior to the focus group. Participants may be more willing to share personal reflections in a diary format than sharing in the group setting. Such personal reflections also serve to crystallize a participantâs experience so, if they choose to share in the group setting, they can do so in a more concise and accurate way. â¢ In-group exercises to obtain individual participant perspectives prior to group discussion, such as with the use of âMind Mapsâ and âWord Bubblesâ (see Figure 1). These exercises are detailed in the book Moderating to the Max: A Full-Tilt Guide to Creative, Insightful Focus Groups and Depth Interviews (Bystedt, Lynn, and Potts; 2003). Conducting in Languages Other than English. This is often necessary to ensure those with limited English proficiency have an opportunity to provide their input. Translation of the mod- erator guide (and other needed documents) is relatively easy, but to ensure accuracy, it should include a double-translation. This involves having one person translate (e.g., from English to Vietnamese). Then a different person translates the Vietnamese version back into English and the two English versions are then compared. More complicated and expensive is recruiting in languages other than English. Most importantly, it is essential that experienced moderators are used. Similar to English-language moderators, just because someone speaks the language does not mean they will be a good focus group moderator. What Iâd be thinking: What Iâd be feeling: What Iâd say to another person: Figure 1. Word Bubbles can help participants organize their thoughts and provides pre-discussion opinions.
Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 145 Analyzing Focus Group Data. The primary task is to identify common themes that emerge from the group discussions. Since clients often need results quickly, the following steps can be useful for streamlining the analysis phase: â¢ Conduct a âbrain dumpâ immediately after each group. This can be done by the moderator and/or the note taker. The purpose here is to get initial impressions down in writing. Brain dumps also serve to identify any areas of the moderator guide that may need changing before the next focus group (see Figure 2). â¢ Conduct a verbal debrief with the client the day after each focus group. The brain dump docu- ment can serve as the summary for the client debrief. â¢ Review the audio/video recordings to flesh out the brain dump document and capture obser- vations and quotes that may enliven reports (see text box, Using Quotes to Bring the Focus Group Report to Life). Writing Focus Group Reports. Given the steps outlined above, full focus group reports are often anti-climactic. Nonetheless, they serve a useful function for those who did not observe the focus groups or attend the client debriefs. The report also allows for the presentation of similari- ties and differences across the focus groups. Finally, the report is the place where the findings can be used to present actionable recommendations. Digital copies of reports can include audio and/or video clips from the focus groups. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? Understanding the impacts of tolling on EJ groups can be obtained through a variety of research methods. The following information showcases how five different projects used focus groups as part of their assessment process. Example 1: I-90 Bridge Tolling. Washington State DOT conducted focus groups as part of an EJ analysis on the effects of tolling I-90 users. More specifically, the focus groups were part of an effort to obtain in-depth information about the potential benefits and effects of tolling on I-90 users, including low-income users. Figure 2. Reviewing the video recording from the group will bring to light things that may have been missed in the initial âbrain dump.â
146 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Using Quotes to Bring the Focus Group Report to Life To provide a sense of what happened at the focus groups, verbatim quotes from the events may be used to illustrate key findings. âIt would be an extra $170 a month for me; that is too much.â âI canât afford it, and I would have to find another job.â âMy work hours are not flexible, it would affect me greatly.â âTaking the bus adds a terrible amount of time.â âOnly if there is an Express bus (currently there is no direct service to where I need to go; I need to take more than one bus); also at the time I need to take it is too crowded.â âI just like the fact that I would be able to utilize it in dire need, getting some- where quickly. If I woke up late or something and need to get to work.â âWhen I need to get somewhere time is priceless to me.â âIf you want to tax me some more and itâs going to go to the good of all roads for all the people thatâs one thing. If youâre going to have this elitist solution, I think itâs terribly wrong.â âPutting the whole thing into play makes me wonder how are you going to edu- cate people so theyâll know how to do all this? I can just see mass confusion when you start this, and people are just stopped dead on the freeway going, can I get in, can I get out?â The recruitment screener was designed to identify appropriate participants for three differ- ent focus groups. For all the focus groups, participants were screened to confirm that they used the I-90 Bridge. One group was screened to qualify as low-income according to federal poverty guidelines, another group was conducted in Spanish, and the third group was conducted in English. Several steps were taken to encourage attendance, including: â¢ The Spanish language group was held at a community center well known to the Hispanic community. â¢ Each participant received a $75 stipend, plus $20 to cover any transportation and childcare costs. â¢ A light meal was provided at each group, and parking was validated for groups held at the formal focus group facility. Example 2: SR 520 Bridge Tolling. Washington State DOT conducted research on the potential effects of tolling the SR 520 Bridge in Seattle on low-income and minority popula- tions. It developed a three-pronged approach that included a transit-intercept survey of people who used transit routes that cross the SR 520 Bridge, a telephone survey of SR 520 Bridge users, and three focus groups with SR 520 Bridge users (one with people who did not qualify as low- income or minority, one with low-income English speakers, and one in Spanish with low to moderate incomes).
Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 147 Participants were recruited from the pool of people who responded to the telephone survey, as well as from a purchased telephone list of low-income people who lived in King County. In addition, several social service agencies partnered with Washington State DOT and hung flyers at their sites inviting clients to participate. Only one of the nine people recruited for the Spanish-speaking focus group attended. As a contingency plan, Washington State DOT con- ducted six individual telephone interviews in Spanish with the people who did not show up for the focus group. The moderator guide was focused on learning about the following: â¢ Attitudes toward bridge replacement and traffic congestion; â¢ Attitudes toward tolling the SR 520 Bridge; â¢ The impact of tolling on peopleâs current and future travel choices; â¢ Whether or not the tolling would create a burden for SR 520 Bridge users, especially those who are low-income and have limited English proficiency; and â¢ Ideas on what (if anything) would make tolling fair. Example 3: Regional Express Lane NetworkâMetropolitan Transportation Commission Program. Focus groups and intercept surveys were administered to conduct an EJ assessment of the proposed Regional Express Lanes Network Program on behalf of the MTC in the San Francisco Bay Area Region. Informed by demographic mapping of high concentration areas of low-income and minority populations, community-based organizations (CBOs) were identi- fied as potential partners for performing focus groups. Participating CBOs were selected based on their mission, their capabilities working with targeted EJ populations, and their ability to host a focus group discussion and recruit 12 to 15 participants within a required time frame. CBOs were asked to recruit focus group participants drawing on their existing contacts within their communities. In assembling the focus groups, CBOs were asked to screen for participants who were low-income and/or minority individuals who travel in the subject corridors by public transit, carpools, or as solo drivers. CBOs were provided MTC-approved background information that described the Regional Express Lanes Network Program, the purpose of the EJ engagement, and the objective of the focus groups. These materials were translated into Chinese and Spanish to facilitate access to limited English proficiency communities. CBOs were responsible for distributing the materi- als and encouraged to distribute flyers to promote the event. Participating organizations were given a $2,000 stipend for hosting the focus group, recruiting participants, providing child care when appropriate, and arranging for refreshments. Gift cards valued at $25 were given to the participants as an incentive once the focus group was completed. In total, 75 individuals par- ticipated in six focus groups held in community centers and other locales in Alameda, Contra Costa, and Solano counties focused on youth development, vocational assistance, workforce readiness, homeless transition, economic empowerment, and arts and culture, among other missions. Example 4: SR 85 Express Lanes. In 2008, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority conducted a research, public outreach, and education program to gauge public sentiment about the adoption of express lanes on SR 85. As part of that research, a series of four focus groups were conducted with HOV lane users and single-occupancy drivers. Focus group participants were screened to reflect diversity in the ethnicity, income and education level, age, sex, and com- mute patterns of the general population in Santa Clara County. Through the use of a mock news article, one exercise sought to introduce and explore initial attitudes toward the HOT lane and the potential facility layout (see text box, Excerpt from Discussion Guide: SR 85 HOT Lane and Facility Layout).
148 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Findings from the focus groups included: â¢ Although concerns about a âLexus Laneâ initially divided survey respondents evenly, when focus group participants were provided more information and project benefits were explained, participants were more likely to view the project favorably. â¢ The use of toll revenues for other improvements in the corridor, including public transit improvements, was identified as the number one benefit. â¢ Participants reported that they could see how everyone could benefit from express lanes, whether through public transit improvements, better air quality, or improved quality of life from less congestion. Example 5: Elizabeth River Tunnels Tolling. This project provides an example of using focus groups to test public education/marketing approaches about tolling and how different population segments may react differently. Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) conducted two focus groups, one with those living on the Norfolk side of the Elizabeth River (a generally higher- income area), and one with those living on the Portsmouth side (a generally lower-income area). The purpose of the focus groups was to gather opinions and preferences of campaign ad con- cepts. The ads being tested were divided into two major categoriesâthose for the âeducationâ campaign and those for the âgo liveâ campaign. In general, the campaigns were intended to edu- cate the population about the new tolls and provide instructions about how to obtain an E-ZPass for use on the tunnels between Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia. Excerpt from Discussion Guide: SR 85 HOT Lane and Facility Layout Discussion: 30 minutes Introduce SR 85 High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane: â¢ Hand out mock newspaper article about project and get reaction. â¢ Show video of similar project and get reaction. â¢ Show map of facility layout with entrance, exit points, and interchanges. â Answer questions raised by above. â Get Initial reactions. (Probe for general positives and negatives of project: How do they feel about project? How do they think other commuters and community members (who do not commute) will feel about the project? How do they feel about access pointsâis it local trip-friendly?) Probe: Benefits: provide an option not currently available, convenience, choice, less congestion, less pollution, better use of underutilized high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, reduced congestion in non-HOV lanes, revenue source for construction and maintenance of HOT lane corridor including public transit, sense of safety, value to time, etc. Negative: elitist, in operation 24/7âno longer unlimited access (during non-car pool hours), cost, what about cheaters, safety, etc., doesnât encourage carpooling, carpoolers must now travel farther to get into HOT laneâ not continue access. Answer questions/clarify project as necessary. Discuss 101 HOT Lane. Where should HOT lanes be built first? Why? Test attitudes toward possibility of two HOT lanes on 101 and 85âCarpoolers could use the second lane to get by slower carpoolers or those trying to merge to General Purpose lane that is congested. Source: SA Opinion Research, 2008.
Using Focus Groups in Assessing the Impact of tolling on Environmental Justice Populations 149 Focus group participants were recruited from two sources: â¢ A list of those who, during the baseline survey, had indicated an interest in participating in a focus group and â¢ Those who were part of an earlier Issues and Answers focus group facility panel. In particular, ERC sought to get a good mix of those who use the tunnels at different frequen- cies, times of the day, and travel alone or with others. Each participant received a $75 stipend to compensate them for their opinions, time, and travel costs. A light meal was also provided at each session. The moderator guide was designed to present to participants each campaign ad concept in print, radio, and TV. This approach was successful in identifying ways to make some of the ad concepts more effective, but it also identified one ad concept that needed to be abandoned because it met with strong negative reactions, especially among those from lower-income house- holds (see text box, Was âMattâs Spare Changeâ Worth It?). Was âMattâs Spare Changeâ Worth It? Focus group participants did not embrace all of the ads presented. The few par- ticipants that preferred the âMattâs Spare Changeâ ad campaign did so because it was witty and humorous. However, others failed to see its humor, or how it would be funny to folks who have to use the tunnels and pay a toll. The ad was seen as out of touch because having âspare changeâ in our current economy is not so common, and although the humorous approach can be attention-getting, the message about tolling can get lost. What Are Its Limitations? The major limitation of focus groups is that the results are not intended to be extrapolated to the larger population represented in the focus groups because of the relatively small number of participants and because those who agree to participate in a focus group may be different from those who would not, or could not participate. In this limitation, focus groups are quite different in intent than a statistically valid survey. Rather, they are intended to provide insights that would be unavailable with a questionnaire. Focus groups also have the benefit of providing additional insights not available with in-depth interviews, since the synergy that occurs in a group discus- sion has the potential for totally new ideas to emerge. Another limitation of focus groups is that they rely on participantsâ memories, which can be faulty. This limitation, not unique to focus groups, is why we see the increased use of âin-the- momentâ research, which, through the use of mobile phones and online technology, allows participants to provide feedback at the moment of the participantâs experience (such as for consumer products). What Types of Resources and Costs Are Required? In general, conducting focus groups entails a number of resources and cost items, which, when used with EJ populations, tend to be somewhat more expensive. Below are a list of items and typical costs to conduct one focus group. In general, a focus group could cost between $7,500 and $10,000, although the more groups conducted, the lower the cost per group due to economies of scale (see Table 1).
150 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Who Has Used It Successfully? Several projects assessing the impact of tolling on EJ groups are described in the five examples presented above. More information on the use of focus groups and their use when assessing the impacts of tolling can be found by examining the references presented in the resource section. Resources Bystedt, J., Lynn, S., and Potts, D. 2003. Moderating to the Max: A Full-Tilt Guide to Creative, Insightful Focus Groups and Depth Interviews. Paramount Market Publishing, Ithaca, New York. California Department of Transportation and Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. 2012. Community Impact Assessment: State Route 85 Express Lanes Project, Santa Clara County, California. Retrieved from http://dot.ca.gov/dist4/documents/85ExpressLanesProject/ea_4a7900_sr_85_el_community_impact_ assessment.pdf. FHWA. 2008. Income-Based Equity Impacts of Congestion Pricing: A Primer. Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/publications/fhwahop08040/fhwahop08040.pdf. Resource Development Associates and Parsons Brinckerhoff. 2013. Regional Express Lanes NetworkâMTC Program: Final Focus Group and Intercept Survey Summary Report, Prepared for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. SA Opinion Research. 2008. Focus Group Report: Attitudes Toward the State Route 85 HOT Lane. Conducted for Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Retrieved from http://www.vta.org/sfc/servlet.shepherd/ document/download/069A0000001Fw72IAC. U.S. DOT. 2008. Equity Concerns of Congestion Pricing Initiatives in the U.S. Draft Report, Washington, D.C. Retrieved from http://www.browardmpo.org/userfiles/files/06-%20Equity%20Brochure-v6.pdf. Weinstein, A., and Sciara, G. C. 2004. Assessing the Equity Implications of HOT Lanes. Santa Clara Valley Transpor- tation Authority, San Jose, California. Washington State DOT. 2007. SR 167 HOT Lanes: Social, Economic and Environmental Justice Report. Retrieved from http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/9B439F74-7CB2-46BB-A669-7684D31BDCA6/0/ EJ_HotLanesPilotProjectfinal.pdf. Category Cost Focus group facility rental (including hosting and audio/video recording) $700 to $1,200 Recruitment (more for non-English and business participants) $90 to $120 per participant Food for participants $100 to $150 Incentives for participants (higher for non-English and business participants) $75 to $125 Development of the participant recruitment screener $100 Development of the moderator guide $1,500 Translation of the recruitment screener and moderator guide $1,200 to $1,500 per language Moderating the focus group (higher for non-English languages) $1,000 Analysis and reporting $5,000-$7,000 Table 1. Example items and costs for a focus group.
151 What Is It? This tool examines the design and implementation of surveys to assess attitudes toward tolling facilities, travel behavior, and the willingness to pay for the use of managed lanes and tolling facilities. Perceptions of fairness or equity are an important factor in the acceptance of transÂ portation projects that involve the use of pricing. Properly designed surveys can be used to examine how tolling solutions are perceived in terms of fairness and how they may affect lowÂincome and minority travelers compared to other populations. This tool inventories topics and questions used to conduct these surveys and survey collection methods and findings resulting from them. Why Is It Effective in Environmental Justice Analysis? To be responsive to the protected population focus of EJ, surveys should be designed and analyzed to explore similarities and differences in attitudes and travel behavior from the perspective of different travel user groups and segmented by categories of income and race. With proper design and sampling, a survey can directly assess the benefits and burdens of travel as borne by lowÂincome and minority populations compared to other population groups. What Are Some Techniques for Implementing This Tool? This tool can be referenced to identify the types of questions that have been asked and the survey distribution methods that have been typically employed to assess attitudes and measure the demand of tollÂ ing facilities and managed lanes in order to support an assessment of the socioeconomic distributional impacts of toll implementation. The tool was developed after inventorying and preparing a content review analysis of toll surveys. The content review analysis examined findings from prior surveys on how attitudes and behavior have been t o o l 6 Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and Travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation Framework Step â¢ Scope Approach to Measure and Address Impacts â¢ Conduct Impact Analysis and Measurement â¢ Identify and Assess Mitigation Strategies â¢ Conduct Post-Implementation Monitoring Stages in Decision-Making â¢ Policy and Planning â¢ Project Design and the National Environmental Policy Act â¢ Implementation Tools and Techniques â¢ Sampling Approaches â¢ Survey Design Questions â¢ Inventory of Survey Methods and Findings Affected Populations â¢ Low-income â¢ Minority Examples Featured â¢ Travel Behavior and Opinion Surveys â¢ FHWA, Pre- and Post-Implementation Surveys, Urban Partnership Agreements/Congestion Reduction Demonstration
152 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox reported by user groups, particularly by lowÂincome or minority users in comparison to other populations. A table summarizing the content review analysis was prepared and can serve as a resource for considering whether and to what extent prior toll surveys have focused on disÂ tributional considerations that can support environmental justice assessments. The summary table is presented in NCHRP Web-Only Document 237: Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate ChangesâFinal Report, which documents the activities undertaken in preparation of the Guidebook and the Toolbox. The content review seeks to expand on earlier publications that have collected evidence from multiple surveys about how tolling impacts equity considerations (e.g., income, modal, geoÂ graphic). The 2008 FHWA report Income-Based Equity Impacts of Congestion Pricing: A Primer, provided a highÂlevel summary of key findings from surveys reported up to the time of its pubÂ lication (see text box, Income-Based Equity Impacts of Congestion PricingâObservations Distilled Income-Based Equity Impacts of Congestion PricingâObservations Distilled from Prior Surveys The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) report Income-Based Equity Impacts of Congestion Pricing: A Primer makes reference to several examples from early high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane implementation or âpartial pricingâ studies. Distilling from surveys, polling, and focus groups, the primer makes an argument for congestion pricing and suggests that income-equity concerns may be overstated. âProject experience has shown, particularly for the most common projects funded under the early phases of the program (e.g., HOT lanes), that the percep- tion of unfairness may be exaggerated.â Also, âoverall, the perception that congestion pricing is an inequitable way of responding to the problem of traffic congestion does not appear to be borne out by experienceâ (FHWA, 2008). Examples of acceptance from San Diego, Denver, Minnesota, Houston, and Orange County are given, including the following: â¢ A travel survey of San Diego I-15 found that âusers of San Diegoâs I-15 HOT lanes were more likely to have higher incomes than were drivers in regular lanes, but lower-income drivers sometimes did use the HOT lanes.â â¢ On plans and implementation of Denverâs I-25/US 36, âpublic outreach leading to implementation of HOT lanes did not uncover critical concerns regarding equity or other social impacts, nor have such concerns arisen since implementation.â â¢ On I-394 in Minneapolis-St. Paul, âPatterson and Levinson (2008) stated that âthe [HOT] lanes are Lexus Lanes in the sense that increased income predicts increases in three of the four metrics used to measure direct benefit . . . Individuals with higher incomes receive more direct benefits from the lane than those with lower incomes.â However, according to the University of Minnesota and NuStats (2005), HOT-lane usage with MnPass was reported across all income levels, including by 79 percent of high-income respondents, 70 percent of middle-income respondents, and 55 percent of low-income respondents.â â¢ For the I-10 and US-290 HOT lanes in Houston, Texas, âfocus groups held during project planning did not find concerns about social equity among either corridor users or the public at large. The general reaction was that all would benefit if congestion were reduced. There also have been no equity concerns raised during operations. Burris et al. (2007) found that even in the lowest income group, over two-thirds of respondents were interested in paying to use the HOT lanes.â However, in a closing section, the FHWA Primer concedes that congestion-priced facilities will be used more by those with higher incomes. But since all users will use priced lanes from time-to-time, âincome-related equity concerns may not be entirely warranted.â The facilities meet driversâ needs when they require a reliable trip to reach their destination on time (e.g., to avoid a late charge to pick up a child at a day care center). Moreover, there is little variation by income-level when polling is conducted (e.g., 60 to 80 percent range). All income groups would appear to value the âinsuranceâ of a reliable trip time when they absolutely need it. Source: FHWA, 2008
Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 153 from Prior Surveys). More recently, a technical memorandum published for the San Francisco regionâs Metropolitan Transportation Commission summarized survey findings related to how people of different income, race, and ethnicity groups responded to tolling projects (HDR EngiÂ neering, 2013) and is also included as a reference table in the separate research report. Research undertaken in support of this tool includes an inventory and review of more recent surveys, an examination of survey design methods (e.g., sampling approach, question wording), and considers whether these surveys were designed to carry out an EJ analysis and present equityÂ related findings (e.g., income, mode, geography). Most of the surveys in the content review analysis compare travel behavior and opinions for lowÂincome and minority travelers with findings for other groups. To be included in the analysis, a survey had to collect data on respondentsâ income or race/ ethnicity and present some analysis of the results by at least one of those demographic categories. Overview of the Surveys Examined. A total of 24 surveys, covering a period from 2003 to 2015, were included in the content review analysis (see text box, Travel Behavior and Opinion Survey Content Review Attributes). Table 1 lists the surveys and includes the facility name, survey sponsorÂ ing agency, year of data collection, sampling frame, survey mode, and number of responses anaÂ lyzed. Table 2 provides additional information about sociodemographic data collected and whether the survey asked questions about attitudes, behavior, and/or transponder ownership barriers. Travel Behavior and Opinion Survey Content Review Attributes A content review analysis was performed for the following attributes. (1) Survey sponsor: Entity that commissioned the survey (2) Participating organizations: Firms that implemented the survey and/or published project reports docu- menting the survey (3) Project name and location: Name of the facility or corridor under study, and the region of the country (4) Type of tolling project: Managed lane, tolled bridge, etc. (5) Who was surveyed: The type of person selected for surveying (i.e., anyone who made a peak-hour week- day trip within the recent past on a specific facility) (6) Data collection period: The months/years in which respondents completed a survey (7) Survey mode: Phone, online, etc. (8) Survey objective: A description of what the project sponsors wanted to learn from the survey results, as explained in a project report (9) Number of responses analyzed: The number of responses analyzed in the documentation about the survey. In some cases, this is fewer than the number of people who answered the survey questions, such as when incomplete responses were eliminated from the analysis. (10) Decision-making stage: When the survey was completed (11) Were survey materials available in languages OTHER than English: List of any alternative languages in which the survey materials were available (12) Survey question language: Information about the questions asked that are most directly relevant to equity analysis by income or race/ethnicity. Where possible, the exact language used in the survey instrument is reproduced. If the instrument was not provided, then a description of the questions is given. In surveys with complex survey skip patterns, such as the stated preference questions, a representative sample of the questions asked is presented, rather than reproducing the entire relevant set of questions. (13) Survey findings reported by race and/or ethnicity: This section reproduces content in the project reports that describes the survey findings for different race/ethnicity groups. (14) Survey findings reported by income: This section reproduces content in the project reports that describes the survey findings for different income groups.
Facility Type of Tolling Project Performing Organizations Survey Sponsor Data Collection Year(s) Sampling Frame Survey Mode # of Responses Analyzed CALIFORNIAâLOS ANGELES REGION I-110 HOT lanes Redhill Group (Survey Sampling, Inc.) Los Angeles County Metro 2008 General public consisted of residents and persons who lived near the I-110 corridor that used the freeway at least once a week. EJ population included non-Caucasians, 64 years of age or older, or persons with an FHWA Act-deï¬ned income bracket of low. Computer- assisted telephone interviewing GP: 160 EJ: 50 I-10, I-210 HOT lanes Redhill Group (Survey Sampling, Inc.) Los Angeles County Metro 2008 General public consisted of Los Angeles County residents who lived near the I-10 and I-210 corridor and used the freeway at least once a week. The EJ population included non-Caucasians, 64 years of age or older, or persons with an FHWA Act- deï¬ned income bracket of low. Computer- assisted telephone interviewing GP: 650 EJ: 200 I-10, I-210 HOT lanes Redhill Group (Survey Sampling, Inc.) Los Angeles County Metro 2008 General public consisted of San Gabriel Valley residents and persons who lived near the I-10 and I-210 corridor and used the freeway at least once a week. The EJ population included non-Caucasians, 64 years of age or older, or persons with an FHWA Act-deï¬ned income bracket of low. Computer- assisted telephone interviewing GP: 160 EJ: 50 I-10, I-110 HOV lanes/ express lanes Not listed Los Angeles County Metro 2009 Motorist using the general purpose and HOV lanes during peak and oï¬-peak periods. License plate and mailing 1,075 Table 1. Surveys reviewed: organizations involved and methodological details.
I-10, I-110 HOV lanes/ express lanes Redhill Group (Survey Sampling, Inc.) Los Angeles County Metro 2012 (pre- implementation) Response targets were set for each of the eight categories. User category responses were split evenly between I-10 and I-110 freeways. Of the targeted responses from each corridor, half were split between the GP lane and HOV lane. For the HOV and GP lanes, a three-quarters/one- quarter split was sought between those who were on the freeway during peak periods versus those who were using the freeway during the oï¬-peak period. License plate and mailing Total sample: 700 I-10: 350 I-110: 350 For each lane, peak period: 131 Oï¬-peak period: 44 I-10, I-110, I- 210 (Los Angeles County Express Lanes) HOV lanes/ express lanes None listed Los Angeles County Metro 2013 Residents of Los Angeles County who own an ExpressLanes FasTrak account and are enrolled in the Equity Plan (Low-Income Assistance Plan). Online 580 I-10, I-110 HOV lanes/ express lanes Not listed Los Angeles County Metro, Caltrans 2014 (post- implementation) Samples drivers on the I-10 and I-110 in the HOV and GP lanes. Equal percentages of responses from drivers on peak HOV and GP lanes, oï¬-peak HOV and GP lanes on both corridors are retained. License plate and mailing Total sample: 452 I-10: 236 I-110: 216 I-110, I-10 HOT lanes/ express lanes Noble Insights Los Angeles County Metro 2015 Targeted low-income travelers, mostly non-users of Metro ExpressLanes and FasTrak, but no users of these programs were excluded. In-person intercept Sample: 450 Blacks: 100 Asian: 100 White: 50 Spanish speakers: 200 (continued on next page)
Facility Type of Tolling Project Performing Organizations Survey Sponsor Data Collection Year(s) Sampling Frame Survey Mode # of Responses Analyzed COLORADO â DENVER REGION I-25 Managed lanes UrbanTrans, Florida State University Marketing Institute Colorado DOT 2003 Area residents who commute along the I- 25 corridor north of Denver Phone 326 US-36 Managed lanes Wilbur Smith, RSG Colorado DOT 2010 Automobile travelers who recently made a trip in the US 36 corridor (Denver/Boulder) Online 5,340 GEORGIA â ATLANTA REGION I-75 Managed lanes NuStats George State Road & Tollway Authority 2005 Individuals 18 years of age or older, residing within the I-75/575 area who travel on the target segment at least once a week and have a vehicle available Computer- assisted telephone interviewing 1,501 I-20, I-75, I-95, I-285 Managed lanes HNTB, RSG Georgia DOT 2007 People who made a recent weekday trip on a study route Online and in-person intercept 4,173 I-75 South Managed lanes HNTB, NuStats Georgia State Road & Tollway Authority 2007 Individuals 18 years of age or older residing within Clayton, Coweta, Dekalb, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Rockdale and/or Spalding Counties that have a telephone in their home and travel on a target road segment at least once a week. Computer- assisted telephone 1,210 I-85 Express Lanes Managed lanes Volpe, RSG FHWA 2011, 2012 Peak-hour corridor travelers and adult members of their households (drivers, transit riders, organized vanpool members) Online and phone panel study 3,126 Table 1. (Continued).
ILLINOIS â CHICAGO REGION KENTUCKY/ INDIANA â LOUISVILLE REGION MINNESOTA â MINNEAPOLIS REGION OREGON â PORTLAND REGION Chicago Metro Region Managed lanes or congestion pricing on tollways RSG, Wilbur Smith Illinois Tollway 2008 People who within the last month traveled during a weekday at peak period on one of 14 tollways or free expressways in the region including: Jane Adams Memorial, Ronald Reagan, Tri-State, Veterans Memorial Tollways, Dan Ryan, Edens, Eisenhower, Elgin-OâHare, Kennedy and Stevenson Expressways, IL-53, I-57, I-80, and Bishop Ford Expressway Online 1,976 Louisville- Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project Tolled bridge IQS Research Kentucky Trans- portation Cabinet, Indiana DOT 2014 Racial minorities and/or low-income persons who are members of EJ populations In-person intercept 287 I-394 MnPASS Express Lane Managed lanes NuStats, Humphrey Institute of Public Aï¬airs Minnesota DOT 2004, 2005, 2006 Users and potential users of the express lane (I-394 and I-35W travel sheds) Phone panel study 1,228 (Wave 3) Columbia River Crossing Tolled bridge Stantec, RSG Columbia River Crossing Team 2009 Automobile travelers in the Portlandâ Vancouver region Online 1,744 (continued on next page)
Facility Type of Tolling Project Performing Organizations Survey Sponsor Data Collection Year(s) Sampling Frame Survey Mode # of Responses Analyzed TEXAS â HOUSTON & DALLASâFORT WORTH REGIONS WASHINGTON â SEATTLE REGION Katy Freeway, US 290* 2-person carpools pay toll to use HOV lane Texas A&M Transportation Institute Texas DOT 2003 Former and current QuickRide enrollees Mail 525 Katy Freeway, US 290* 2-person carpools pay toll to use Texas A&M Transportation Institute Texas DOT 2003 Travelers in the QuickRide corridors Mail and online 4,005 HOV lane Houston and Dallas regions Managed lanes Texas A&M Transportation Institute Texas DOT 2006 Houston and Dallas residents Online, paper, and interviewer -assisted 4,635 Katy Freeway Managed lanes Texas A&M Transportation Institute FHWA 2008 Travelers who use the Katy Freeway regularly or have at least used it in the past week Online 3,871 I-30 Freeway (Tom Landry Freeway) Use of express lanes with loyalty reward incentives Texas A&M Transportation Institute North Central Texas Council of Govern- ments and FHWA 2014 Travelers on the I-30 Freeway between Arlington and Dallas Online 898 SR-520 Bridge Tolled bridge Volpe, RSG FHWA 2010, 2012 Peak-hour and shoulder-peak corridor travelers and adult members of their households (drivers, transit riders, organized vanpool members) Online and phone 3,698 *Note: Report combines data from two surveys and analyzes all the combined data as one data set. Table 1. (Continued).
Facility Data Collection Year(s) Survey Languages Other Than English Topics Surveyed Demographic Info Collected Results Published By: Transponder Usage Opinions or Attitudes Actual or Predicted Toll Facility Use Income Race/ Ethnicity Income Race/ Ethnicity CALIFORNIA â LOS ANGELES REGION COLORADO â DENVER REGION GEORGIA â ATLANTA REGION I-110 2008 Spanish I-10, I-210 2008 Spanish I-10, I-210 2008 Spanish I-10,I-110 2009 Spanish I-10, I-110 2012 Spanish I-10, I-110, I-210 (Los Angeles County) 2013 None* N/A** I-10, I-110 2014 Spanish I-10, I-110 2015 Spanish or Mandarin I-25 2003 Spanish US-36 2010 None* I-75 2005 None* I-20, I-75, I-95, I-285 2007 None* I-75 South 2007 None I-85 Express Lanes 2011, 2012 Spanish Table 2. Surveys reviewed: survey design and analysis features relevant to analyzing EJ populations. (continued on next page)
ILLINOIS â CHICAGO REGION KENTUCKY/INDIANA â LOUISVILLE REGION MINNESOTA â MINNEAPOLIS REGION OREGON â PORTLAND REGION TEXAS â HOUSTON AND DALLASâFORT WORTH REGIONS Facility Data Collection Year(s) Survey Languages Other Than English Topics Surveyed Demographic Info Collected Results Published By: Transponder Usage Opinions or Attitudes Actual or Predicted Toll Facility Use Income Race/ Ethnicity Income Race/ Ethnicity Chicago Region 2008 None* Ohio River Bridges 2014 Spanish I-394 MnPASS Express Lane 2004, 2005, 2006 None* Columbia River Crossing 2009 None* N/A*** Katy Freeway, US 290 2003 None* N/A** Katy Freeway, US 290 2003 None* Houston and Dallas regions 2006 Spanish Katy Freeway 2008 Spanish I-30 Freeway (Tom Landry Freeway) 2014 None * Table 2. (Continued).
SR-520 Bridge 2010, 2012 None * ï¼ ï¼ ï¼ ï¼ ï¼ ï¼ *Information is not speciï¬ed in the documentation about the survey, but it appears likely that this is the correct information. **All eligible survey respondents had a transponder. *** At the time survey was conducted, regional drivers did not use transponders. Sources: 1 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2009. Express Lanes Congestion Reduction Demonstration Program License Plate Survey Report. 2 Redhill Group, Inc. 2012. ExpressLanes Public Education and Market Research Support: 2012 Pre-Implementation Survey License Plate Study. Prepared for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 3 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2013. Equity Plan Survey Analysis. 4 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2014. Post-Deployment License Plate Survey. 5 Noble Insight, Inc. 2015. Metro ExpressLanes Low Income Field Surveys. Prepared for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 6 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2008. I-110 Corridor General Public and Environmental Justice Survey. 7 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2008. Los Angeles County General Public and Environmental Justice Survey. 8 Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2008. San Gabriel Valley General Public and Environmental Justice Survey. 9 Resource Systems Group (RSG), Inc. 2010. Appendix 1: DenverâBoulder Stated Preference Survey Report of Investment Grade Traï¬c and Revenue Study U.S.36 Managed Lanes. Prepared for Wilbur Smith Associates and Colorado Department of Transportation. Retrieved from https://www.codot.gov/library/studies/us- 36-managed-lanes-investment-grade-traï¬c-and-revenue-study/WS%20T-R%20Final%20Appendices1.pdf 10 Ungemah, D., Swisher, M., Tighe, C. 2005. Discussing High-Occupancy Toll Lanes with the Denver, Colorado, Public. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1932, 129â136. UrbanTrans. 2004. I-25 HOT Lanes Public Outreach: Summary Report: Stated Preference Telephone Survey. Prepared for Colorado Department of Transportation. WASHINGTON â SEATTLE REGION (continued on next page)
11 Peirce, S., Petrella, M., Puckett, S., Minnice, P., Lappin, J. 2014. Urban Partnership Agreement and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Programs: Lessons Learned on Congestion Pricing from the Seattle and Atlanta Household Travel Behavior Surveys. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. Prepared for U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/54000/54000/54065/UPA- CRD_Panel_Survey_Lessons_Learned_Final_Report_Volpe.pdf Peirce, S., Petrella, M., and Green, E. 2014. 2010â2012 Longitudinal Household Travel Diary Study: Seattle & Atlanta. Poster. Retrieved from http://static.tti.tamu.edu/conferences/tss12/posters/14.pdf Petrella, M., Puckett, S., Peirce, S., Minnice, P., Lappin, J., Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 2014. Eï¬ects of an HOV-2 to HOT-3 Conversion on Traveler Behavior: Evidence from a Panel Study of I-85 Corridor in Atlanta (Final Report). Prepared for the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/54000/54000/54062/CRD_Panel_Survey_Atlanta_Final_Report_Volpe.pdf Ray, R., Petrella, M., Peirce, S., Minnice, P., Puckett, S., Lappin, J., Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 2014. Exploring the Equity Impacts of Two Road Pricing Implementations Using a Traveler Behavior Panel Survey: Full Facility Pricing on SR 520 in Seattle and the I-85 HOT-2 to HOT-3 Conversion in Atlanta (Final Report). Prepared for the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/54000/54000/54064/UPA- CRD_Panel_Survey_Equity_Final_Report_Volpe.pdf Zimmerman, C., Gopalakrishna, D., Pessaro, B., Goodin, G., Saunoi-Sangren, E. 2011. Atlanta Congestion Reduction Demonstration: National Evaluation: Surveys and Interviews Test Plan. U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/51000/51600/51687/11-104.pdf 12 HNTB Corporation. 2008. Study of Potential Managed Lanes on I-75 South Corridor: Final. Prepared for Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority. Retrieved from http://www.georgiatolls.com/assets/docs/I-75_VPPP_Final_Report.pdf NuStats. 2007. I-75 South Stated Preference Survey: Final Report. Prepared for Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority. 13 Hess, S., et al. 2008. Managed-Lanes Stated Preference Survey in Atlanta, Georgia: Measuring Eï¬ects of Diï¬erent Experimental Designs and Survey Administration Methods. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2049, 144â152. HNTB Corporation. 2010. Atlanta Regional Managed Lane System Plan: Stated Preferences Survey. Prepared for Georgia Department of Transportation. Resource Systems Group (RSG), Inc. 2010. Atlanta Regional Managed Lane System Plan: Technical Memorandum 1B: Greater Atlanta Stated Preference Survey Documentation. Prepared for Georgia Department of Transportation. 14 NuStats. 2005. I-75 Stated Preference Survey: Final Report. Prepared for Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority. 15 Resource Systems Group (RSG), Inc. 2008. Documentation for Chicago Travel Options Study. Prepared for Wilbur Smith Associates and Illinois Tollway Authority. 16 Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Indiana Department of Transportation. 2014. Appendix E3, Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project EJ Community Survey Populations. Table 2. (Continued).
17 NuStats. 2005. I-394 MnPASS Project Evaluation: Attitudinal Panel Survey: Wave 1: Final Report. Prepared for the Humphrey Institute of Public Aï¬airs, University of Minnesota. NuStats. 2006. MnPASS Evaluation: Attitudinal Panel Survey: Wave 2: Final Report. Prepared for the Humphrey Institute of Public Aï¬airs, University of Minnesota. NuStats. 2006. MnPASS Evaluation: Attitudinal Panel Survey: Wave 3: Final Report. Prepared for the Humphrey Institute of Public Aï¬airs, University of Minnesota. 18 Resource Systems Group (RSG), Inc. 2009. Columbia River Crossing Stated Preference Travel Study. Prepared for Stantec. Retrieved from http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/NR/rdonlyres/0DDDCE1C-68F0-4F10-A860-CE92852A0168/0/2012_CRC_ExB.pdf 19 Burris, M., Patil, S., Texas A&M Transportation Institute. 2009. Estimating the Beneï¬ts of Managed Lanes. 20 Burris, M., Sadabadi, K.F., Mattingly, S.P., Mahlawat, M., Li, J., Rasmidatta, I., and Saroosh, A. 2007. Reaction to the Managed Lane Concept by Various Groups of Travelers. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1996, 74â82. 21 Burris, M., Han, N., Geiselbrecht, T., Wood, N., Texas A&M Transportation Institute. 2015. I-30 Express Lanes Survey Report. Prepared for North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Federal Highway Administration. 22 Burris, M., Appiah, J., Texas A&M Transportation Institute. 2003. An Examination of Houstonâs QuickRide Participants by Frequency of QuickRide Usage. Prepared for the Texas Department of Transportation. Burris, M., Figueroa, C. 2006. Analysis of Traveler Characteristics by Mode Choice in HOT Corridors. Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, 45 (2), 103â117. 23 Burris, M., Appiah, J., Texas A&M Transportation Institute. 2003. An Examination of Houstonâs QuickRide Participants by Frequency of QuickRide Usage. Prepared for the Texas Department of Transportation. 24 Batelle Memorial Institute. 2009. Seattle-Lake Washington Corridor Urban Partnership Agreement National Evaluation Plan. Prepared for U.S. Department of Transportation. Retrieved from http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/congestionpricing/assets/docs/fhwajpo10017/seattleupa.pdf Peirce, S. et al. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 2014. Urban Partnership Agreement and Congestion Reduction Demonstration Programs: Lessons Learned on Congestion Pricing from the Seattle and Atlanta Household Travel Behavior Surveys. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/54000/54000/54065/UPA-CRD_Panel_Survey_Lessons_Learned_Final_Report_Volpe.pdf Peirce, S. et al. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 2014. Eï¬ects of Full-Facility Variable Tolling on Traveler Behavior: Evidence from a Panel Study of the SR-520 Corridor in Seattle. Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration. Peirce, S. et al. 2014. 2010-2012 Longitudinal Household Travel Diary Study: Seattle & Atlanta. Poster. Retrieved from http://static.tti.tamu.edu/conferences/tss12/posters/14.pdf Ray, R. et al. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center. 2014. Exploring the Equity Impacts of Two Road Pricing Implementations Using a Traveler Behavior Panel Survey: Full Facility Pricing on SR 520 in Seattle and the I-85 HOT-2 to HOT-3 Conversion in Atlanta (Final Report). Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved from http://ntl.bts.gov/lib/54000/54000/54064/UPA-CRD_Panel_Survey_Equity_Final_Report_Volpe.pdf
164 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Tables 3 through 9 present examples of the types of questions used in various surveys of attiÂ tudes, opinions, and behavior toward tolling facilities and managed lanes, variable pricing, tranÂ sponder usage, and demographic selfÂidentification, among other topics. The set of tables are presented at the end of this writeÂup. Key findings from these surveys, describing how tolling affects the travel behavior of respondents and/or their opinions about the fairness of toll projÂ ects, can be found in the separate research report. Statement/Question Answer Choices Thoughts on managed HOT lanes a. Good idea b. Bad idea c. Donât know Why do you feel this way (regarding HOT lanes)? a. Defeats the purpose b. Only people in carpool lanes should be rewarded c. Donât think itâs fair d. Will not help because it will be the same amount of cars e. Will help reduce the ï¬ow of traï¬c f. Gives people a better option to shorten trip g. The state can raise money h. Oppose tolls/already taxes/no direct answer i. Other I will use a toll route if the tolls are reasonable and I will save time Likert scale I am willing to pay higher tolls if they are used to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions Likert scale Single-occupancy vehicles should be allowed to use the HOV lanes if they pay a toll and speed can remain at least 45 miles per hour (MPH) Likert scale Highway tolls are unfair for travelers with limited incomes Likert scale HOT lanes beneï¬t all travelers because the toll revenue is used to improve local transit which provides a low-cost travel alternative to everyone Likert scale Even if I donât want to pay to use HOT lanes on a regular basis, it is good to have it as an option when I need to get someplace fast Likert scale Because it is free for carpools, HOT lanes are fair for everyone Likert scale Changing the carpool lanes to HOT lanes is a good idea if it will reduce congestion in the carpool lanes on the I-110 freeway Likert scale Changing carpool lanes to HOT lanes will increase congestion on surface streets around the freeways Likert scale Which of the following best describes your reason for opposing the option to allow those who drive alone to use the HOV lanes in exchange for paying a toll? a. Unfair to lower-income individuals b. Not fair to those who carpool or ride the bus c. Concerned that the lanes will become congested d. Not an appropriate concept for Denver e. Other Express lanes have improved my travel a. Agree b. Disagree Table 3. Examples of attitude or opinion questions for tolled and managed lanes.
Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 165 Question Answer Choices The MnPASS program permits single drivers on I-394 to pay a fee to use the MnPASS lanes. Drivers who pay the fee can use the carpool lanes without being in a carpool. The fee varies based on how congested the roadway is. What do you think of allowing single drivers to use the carpool lanes by paying a toll? a. Good idea b. Bad idea c. Donât know Why do you feel this way (regarding variable pricing)? a. Tolls should be a ï¬at fee/need to anticipate cost b. Should not charge too much when traï¬c is light c. May create more traï¬c on those lanes d. Will help bring in more money e. Gives a good option to either carpool or pay toll f. Oppose tolls/already taxes/no direct answer g. Other Why do you feel this way? a. Saves time for busy people b. Users pay, not everyone c. Time is money for some people d. Better use of carpool lanes e. Adds capacity to roadway f. Unfair, specify g. Delays roadway improvement for all h. Levels of service worse in carpool lane i. Increases bureaucracy j. Will not work k. Ineï¬cient l. Only beneï¬ts the rich m. Bad for the environment n. Too confusing for people o. Gives too much money to the road agency p. Other, please specify q. Carpool lanes should be free to all r. Donât know Table 4. Examples of opinion questions for variable pricing. Question Answer Choices Which of the following factors was the most important reason that you use the MnPASS lane? a. To reduce overall travel time b. To reduce the amount of time you spend in heavy traï¬c c. To increase reliability of your travel time d. To increase personal safety while driving in traï¬c e. Or something else, please specify Why didnât you use the MnPASS lane? a. I am not an MnPASS subscriber b. Trafï¬c levels were lighter than usual c. Price was too high d. MnPASS lanes were not available in my direction of travel e. Or some other reason, please specify f. Unsure [Asking about a speciï¬c past trip] Have you changed your typical departure time for this trip because of MnPASS? a. Yes b. No c. Refused Table 5. Examples of usage questions for tolling or managed lane facilities. (continued on next page)
166 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Table 5. (Continued). Question Answer Choices In November 2010, you indicated that you usually drove when traveling across or around Lake Washington. Why do you now use public transportation MOST OFTEN? a. To avoid paying the toll on SR 520 b. Price of gasoline c. Environmental reasons d. Bus service has improved e. Travel times are better than driving f. I can be more productive while traveling g. It is less stressful than driving h. It is safer to take the bus than drive i. It is more convenient for the trips I make j. Other, please specify Compared to November 2010, how often do you use each of the following to travel across or around Lake Washington? Drive on SR 520 Drive on I-90 Drive on SR 522 Take public transportation a. Much less often b. Less often c. No change d. More often e. Much more often Question Answer Choices Have you considered getting a transponder? a. Yes b. No c. Unsure Why have you not considered using a transponder? a. Transponder is too expensive to lease b. Donât want to pay to use MnPASS c. Trafï¬c is not that bad d. Generally donât drive the I-394 route e. I use carpools f. I use transit g. Unaware of MnPASS h. Wouldnât use MnPASS lane enough to justify leasing transponder i. Unlikely to use it [specify] j. Other k. Unsure What are the reasons why you do not have a Peach Pass account? a. I do not use GA 400 or the I-85 tolled Express Lanes often enough b. Tolls are too expensive c. Iâm against tolling in general d. Iâm concerned about my privacy e. I donât want to have to manage another account f. I donât want my account to be charged automatically g. I have not yet had a chance to set up an account h. Other To what extent does the $2.00 toll factor into your decision to use QuickRide?* a. Very significant b. Somewhat significant c. No impact d. Somewhat insigniï¬cant e. Very significant *Houstonâs QuickRide allows two-person carpools to travel in the HOV lane for this toll amount in peak morning and evening periods. Table 6. Examples of transponder ownership questions.
Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 167 Question Answer Choices Please identify your race/ethnicity a. White or Caucasian b. Hispanic or Latino c. African American d. Asian American e. Other f. Donât know/refuse Your race: a. African American or Black b. American Indian or Alaskan Native c. Asian d. White or Caucasian e. Other Are you of Hispanic or Latino origin? a. Yes b. No Please identify your age a. 18â24 b. 25â34 c. 35â44 d. 45â54 e. 55â64 f. 65+ g. Donât know/refuse Please state your annual household income a. $25,000 or less b. $25,000â$49,999 c. $50,000â$74,999 d. $75,000â$99,999 e. $100,000â$149,999 f. $150,000â$199,999 g. $200,000â$249,999 h. $250,000 or more Please identify your gender a. Male b. Female Please state your employment status a. Employed full-time b. Employed part-time c. Self-employed d. Student e. Student and employed f. Retired g. Homemaker h. Not currently employed Table 7. Examples of demographic self-identification questions.
168 Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and toolbox Statement/ Question Answer Choices In the next section, you will compare the trip you just described with two alternative ways of making the same trip along an improved I-75 and I-30 east of I-75. The options areâ¦ a. Drive alone and use the existing lanes with no toll b. Drive alone and use the new managed lanes with a toll c. Carpool and use the new managed lanes, most times with a toll In the next section, you will see 8 questions asking you to compare the trip you just described with 3 alternative ways of making your trip. a. Your current trip (the most frequently traveled highway) b. Use a managed lane on (the most frequently used highway) with a toll paid using I-PASS c. Travel using city streets or local roads only d. Travel by your preferred form of transit What is the primary reason you did not choose the managed lane option in the previous section? a. Time savings is not worth the toll cost b. Toll too high c. Time savings not great enough d. Opposed to paying an additional managed lane fee e. Do not want to set up an I-PASS account (only if donât have I-PASS) f. Do not want to use electronic toll collection (only if donât have I-PASS) g. Other If you were to use the carpool lane on this segment of I-75 as a single driver, you would pay [$] and your trip would take [TT] (travel time in minutes). If you were to use the general traï¬c lanes, your trip would take TT+[#], [#] minutes longer than in the toll lane, but it would be free. You could also choose to carpool with someone to use the carpool lane for free. Now under these conditions, would you choose to: Question 1: a. Use the general lane for free b. Use the carpool lane, pay [$3] and save  minutes c. Carpool with someone to use the carpool lane for free Question 2: If toll route is not selected/if toll route is selected a. Use the general lane for free b. Use the carpool lane, pay [$2] and save  minutes/use the carpool lane, pay [$5] and save  minutes c. Carpool with someone to use the carpool lane for free NCTCOG is exploring how diï¬erent incentives could change the habits of drivers, carpoolers, and transit riders. How likely is it that you would change your travel if the following beneï¬ts were oï¬ered? The following six incentives were presented in a random order in the questionnaire: (1) Gifts such as cash, gift card s, or gas cards to local retailers and entertainment venues if you telecommute, travel off-peak, or travel in the express lanes; (2) Reduced transit fare during peak hours; (3) Free items and discounts to local retailers and entertainment venues if you travel off-peak or in the express lanes; (4) For every 10 trips on the express lanes you earn a free trip; (5) Regular transit riders can earn credit toward reduced bus fares or reduced express lane tolls; (6) An express bus service to Downtown from park-and-ride lots on the express lanes Respondent ï¬lls in Likert-type scale from: (1) I would change my trips (3) I might change some of my trips (5) I would likely change a lot of my trips Table 8. Examples of stated preference questions.
Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 169 Several attributes of the toll surveys that were referenced for the content review analysis and to inform the tool development are briefly summarized below: â¢ Sponsors and regions. The survey sponsors included county, state, and federal departments of transportation. Surveys were sampled across the U.S. in several metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Houston, DallasâFort Worth, Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Minneapolis, Portland, and Seattle. Some of the surveys were prepared for the Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) or Congestion Reduction Demonstration (CRD) Programs. â¢ Language. About half of the surveys were conducted in Spanish in addition to English, while the other half appear to have been conducted only in English. â¢ Mode of distribution. Most surveys were conducted online or via phone with the exception of a couple of mailÂback surveys and an intercept survey (see text box, Mode of Distribution). Question Answer Choices Why would you say that you are using the I-85 Express Lanes more often? a. The tolled express lane is faster/less congested b. Road conditions are safer now in the express lanes c. I ride the bus on I-85 more often now d. I can use the express lanes for free (motorcycle, alternative fuel vehicle, and/or 3+ carpool) e. Due to changes in my personal/work situation, I use I-85 more often f. I can drive alone in the express lanes now if I pay a toll g. Other, please specify For your trips in the I-85 corridor northeast Atlanta, how often have you done each of the following in the last month as a result of tolling on the I-85 Express Lanes? Please specify Carpooled/vanpooled on the I-85 instead of driving alone a. Never b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often e. Not applicable Rode a public bus instead of driving a. Never b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often e. Not applicable Took a diï¬erent route/road to avoid using the I-85 a. Never b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often e. Not applicable Switched to the I-85 Express Lanes instead of using another road a. Never b. Rarely c. Sometimes d. Often e. Not applicable If you usually drive alone to work, what is preventing you from using a commute alternative such as ridesharing or transit? a. Transit service is not adequate b. Diï¬icult to ï¬nd others to rideshare c. Work late or irregular hours d. Cannot get home in an emergency e. Use my car on the job f. Prefer to drive my own car Table 9. Examples of revealed preference questions.
Mode of Distribution Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI). This method typically involves the use of a Random Digit Dialing Process (RDD). The RDD sample has six digits out of a standard 10-digit telephone number based on the regionâs area code and randomly generates a set of three numbers. The number set excludes cell phone numbers. With the CATI system, the questions are populated into the system and the interviewer asks the ques- tions to the respondents similar to any telephone survey. The answers are recorded by the computer and the interviewer does not have to manually populate the responses. CATI surveys are typically used to sample popu- lations that live near the corridors of interest or in neighboring counties and populations that have used the corridors within a specified time frame, typically the last week. CATI surveys can target specific demographics such as low-income and minority travelers by using the RDD to provide telephone numbers for households in a neighborhood with this demographic near the corridors of interest. License Plate Mail In and Back. A camera is trained on the freeway in both the general purpose and managed or tolled lanes to record the license plates of drivers. The local Department of Motor Vehicles is contacted to retrieve postal addresses that match the license plates that were recorded. The household of the license plate holder is mailed the survey to complete and requested to mail it back to the sponsoring agencyâs representa- tive. Surveys may also use postal addresses to send households a postcard with a link to an online version sur- vey. The license plate mail in and back survey approach is used when the agency is trying to sample populations that currently use the corridor; the approach can target drivers who used the corridorâs general purpose or managed lane specifically during peak or non-peak hours so that the sample can be representative of various user segments. Surveys also used this method to sample drivers that owned transponders. Online. A unique website URL for the survey is created and distributed to targeted populations. Using email addresses of transponder account holders, an email may be sent explaining the purpose of the study, the link to the survey, and requesting participation. Businesses and organizations in the region may be contacted to pro- vide the survey to their employees. An online market research firm may be contracted to develop a panel of par- ticipants to complete the survey. Drivers that paid cash at toll plazas may be given an invitation to complete the survey via a postcard by the toll monitor. The online survey method is used to sample a variety of different popu- lations such as transponder owners, drivers that live near the corridors of interest or in neighboring counties, or drivers that recently made a trip on the corridor of interest; surveys are typically restricted for weekday trips. In-person Intercept. Interviewers are stationed at frequently trafficked shopping areas, public offices, universi- ties, and other institutions to stop travelers or pedestrians and ask them to complete a survey. The in-person intercept survey may be administered with the assistance of a laptop, hand-held tablet, or clipboard and may or may not be completed in a discussion with the interviewer. The sampling frame is not random but based on convenience, although a representative mix of respondents along several dimensions may be sought (e.g., peak periods, off-peak periods, managed lanes, general purpose lanes, transit, and persons of various demograph- ics). In-person intercept interviews can also be used to target specific affected populations such as low-income and minority travelers or local residents of an affected area. Interviewers can be stationed at places that low- income and minority travelers would frequent such as shopping centers within a low-income or minority neighborhood (see case example, âTargeting Local Grocery Stores to Administer Community Surveys, Louisvilleâ Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Projectâ). Panel Study. The panel study method is used for before and after implementation surveys because it enables the same households to be surveyed in each round. The panel study method targets a variety of sample popu- lations. Drivers on the corridors of interest are selected via a camera that records license plates, and the agency uses the postal address connected to the license plate to contact households. Households near the corridors of interest or in the neighboring counties are contacted through random digit dialing based on the area codes in the region and neighborhood population density. Drivers owning a transponder are contacted by the agency via telephone numbers linked to their accounts. Interviewers intercept transit riders at local stations and col- lect their information. Transit riders are then sent a link to the survey. Members of organized carpools are con- tacted via email. For surveys that are implemented during different waves, a reminder postcard is sent to the households before the next wave for surveying ends.
Designing and Executing Surveys to Assess Attitudes and travel Behavior for Environmental Justice Analyses and to Monitor Implementation 171 The intercept survey followed a convenience method focused on reaching lowÂincome and minority residents. â¢ Topics covered. All surveys explored the responde