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Travel Demand Models are the backbone of decision-making for public transportation infrastructure investment. Yet, critiques of these models with respect to their usefulness and performance for transport disadvantage communities are rare in the academic literature. These disadvantage communities may include (but are not limited to) low income travelers, transit dependents, un/underemployed, and the elderly. With the objective of promoting travel demand models that are better equipped for assessing transportation impacts for disadvantaged communities, this presentation highlights lessons learned from two case studies of applying travel demand analysis to understand the transportation accessibility of low income, elderly, and transit dependent communities. The case studies take place in two Michigan cities, Benton Harbor and Detroit.

Biographical Information

Dr. Tierra Bills is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Wayne State university. She has recently joined Wayne State (in Summer 2019) after spending 3 years as a Michigan Society Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. Prior to her fellowship at UMich, Dr. Bills worked as a Research Scientist at IBM Research Africa for 3 years, in Nairobi Kenya. Much of Dr. Bills’ current research focuses on investigating the social impacts of transportation projects. She develops activity-based travel-demand models to investigate individual and household-level transportation-equity effects, for the purpose of designing transportation systems that will provide more equitable returns to society. Her latest project aims to understand the potential for next generation transit systems to affect transportation equity outcomes.


Transportation | Urban Studies and Planning

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Case Studies of Travel Demand Analysis on Transport Disadvantaged Communities



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