Jason Cao and Tao Tao Examine Mobility Challenges Due to the Pandemic
November 1, 2021

Ph.D. candidate Tao Tao and Professor Jason Cao published the paper, “Exploring the interaction effect of poverty concentration and transit service on highway traffic during the COVID-19 lockdown,” in the Journal of Transport and Land Use.

The authors explored the relationships among the share of low-income population, transit service, and highway traffic during the week right after the stay-at-home order was instituted in the Twin Cities. They substantiated that transportation impacts are spread unevenly across different income groups, and low-income people are less able to reduce travel, leading to equity concerns. Moreover, transit supply influences highway traffic differently in the areas with different shares of low-income people.

This study suggests that transportation agencies should provide more affordable travel options for the areas of concentrated poverty during the lockdown time. In addition, transit agencies should manage transit supply strategically depending on the share of low-income people to better meet their mobility needs.