New Research in Transportation Equity (Poster Session 3224)
This poster session features emerging research in transportation equity across a wide variety of domains, including active transportation, electric vehicles, car use and ownership, and novel metrics and indicators to measure equity.
Poster: Estimating Spatial Inequities in Last-Mile Delivery: A National Analysis (TRBAM-24-00041)
Despite large bodies of research related to the impacts of e-commerce on delivery sustainability, there has been limited effort to evaluate urban freight using an equity lens. Therefore, this study endeavors to unveil socio-spatial distributions of cargo van traffic in residential delivery supply chains in 41 U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). Evaluating 12 measurements across varying population segments and spatial units, the study finds robust evidence for spatial inequities in last-mile delivery for low-income and, especially, non-white, populations of color (POC). By the most conservative measurement, POC are exposed to roughly 35% more cargo van traffic than white populations on average, despite ordering less than half as many packages. Subsequently, the study evaluates delivery efficiency improvement scenarios and finds outsized equity benefits for distribution-oriented solutions over consumer-oriented solutions. This study promotes data-driven discussions around incorporating equity into “sustainable” urban freight management strategies and broader city planning.