Understanding and Reducing Inequities in Transporation in the West Midlands

Fellows: Ece Calikus, James Trimarco, Tammy Tseng, Renzhe Yu

Technical Mentor: Adolfo de Unanue 

Project Manager: Andrea Sipka

Project Partner: West Midlands Combined Authority

WMCA is a cluster of 18 local authorities and four Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), working collaboratively on many projects ranging from transport, jobs growth, industrial strategy, public service reform etc. to deliver their vision of a more prosperous West Midlands. As the region grows, both economically and in terms of population, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure high quality and equal access to transportation.

The goal of the project is to make transportation access in the West Midlands region fairer. The partner has indicated there is a problem of areas being isolated from public transport lines, with poor access to private vehicles and have a congested highway network – this is particularly prevalent among areas with high minority and low-income populations. Although the partner has some instinct on which areas are experiencing isolation, the volume, scope, and extent of the problem has not been analysed and quantified.

The project involves finding a better way to measure equity of access to transportation services, and creating a data product which allows policy makers to analyse if and where the disadvantaged people live, if the system as it currently is does not serve any particular demographic group, and offer insights on how to make transport better and fairer.