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The Effects of VMT on Travel demand and Implied Equity Issues


The purpose of this thesis was to analyze the California Household Travel Survey to examine any differences in travel behavior and demographics between two of California’s multi-county Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) areas, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). As these regions continue to grow, they have witnessed significant gentrification affecting marginalized communities that are already struggling against increasing costs of living. There were significant differences in both travel times and distance traveled with the SCAG region having values slightly higher than MTC. However, within each region there were significant differences in income and racial demographics at the county level. In SCAG, Orange County had the highest Average HH level incomes and San Bernardino and Imperial Counties having the lowest average HH level incomes. Within the MTC area African Americans and Native Americans were found to more likely walk and use public transit more than other group due to these groups having the lowest incomes out of other groups. Also, these groups tend to reside in Contra Costa and Alameda Counties which have the lowest housing costs in the MTC region.

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