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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies was established to promote the study, understanding and solution of regional policy issues, with special reference to Southern California. Areas of study include problems of the environment, urban design, housing, community and neighborhood dynamics, transportation and local economic development. The Center was founded in 1988 with a $5 million endowment from Ralph and Goldy Lewis. In addition to income from the Lewis Endowment, the Center is supported by private and corporate foundation gifts and grants, individual donors, and research grants from a variety of governmental agencies. The Center sponsors a lecture/seminar series, as well as workshops and conferences focusing on Southern California, in an effort to build bridges to the local community.

Some working papers are not available electronically but a link is provided to the Lewis Center website for ordering instructions. (http://lewis.sppsr.ucla.edu/WorkingPapers.html)

Cover page of HopSkipDrive to the Rescue: How a Ride-hailing Company Provides Crucial Transportation to School for Vulnerable Student Populations

HopSkipDrive to the Rescue: How a Ride-hailing Company Provides Crucial Transportation to School for Vulnerable Student Populations

(2020)

A ride-hailing service specifically designed for children, HopSkipDrive operates in eight states and has transported more than 1 million children for over 7 million miles. Several school districts in Los Angeles County and the county’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) have entered into contracts with HopSkipDrive to provide recurring school trip service to these vulnerable student populations. During the 2018–19 academic year, HopSkipDrive provided 26,706 such trips to LA schools. The researcher analyzed HopSkipDrive’s trip data for morning trips to high school in Los Angeles County for the 2018–19 academic year to answer three questions:

How do trips on HopSkipDrive compare to overall trips to school in California?

What are the characteristics of neighborhoods where these trips begin?

How do the travel times of trips to school on HopSkipDrive compare to analogous trips on public transit?

Cover page of Meeting Travel Needs: Becoming Reacquainted with a Community’s Unmet Travel Needs

Meeting Travel Needs: Becoming Reacquainted with a Community’s Unmet Travel Needs

(2020)

Our current examples of transportation needs assessments focus on existing and established travel behaviors to predict the needs of a community, but there are populations that face additional burdens that are not captured outside of surveys and data collection efforts in academia. The goal of this research is to identify the best practices to collect data on the unmet travel needs of a neighborhood, particularly for disadvantaged populations. This project is a mixed-methods approach involving a literature review, open-ended interviews with academics and professionals with survey experience, and focus groups with community members in Downtown Huntington Park. This study finds that the ideal approach for collecting information on the travel needs of a neighborhood combines the benefits of active and passive data collection using smartphone-based surveys and thorough outreach to ensure that the survey instrument works for underrepresented populations. The current efforts to study the travel needs of disadvantaged populations in studies occur at a smaller scale, but with a focused effort in relationship building and community context. There are quality resources, examples, and guides for community needs assessments that can serve as a template for agencies seeking to explore the needs of their communities, such as the Mobility Equity Framework and the University of Kansas Community Tool Box. Community members in Downtown Huntington Park conveyed a willingness to participate in a smartphone-based travel survey, expressed their car-dependent nature, and provided valuable feedback on how outreach could be conducted in their neighborhood.