The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced funding to research transportation insecurity, according to its news release.
Research indicates that transportation insecurity is a factor in persistent poverty. The FTA is awarding a $6 million grant to the University of Minnesota to lead a team of researchers who will design a program that identifies and addresses the contributing factors leading to transportation insecurity.
“Transportation gives us the freedom our nation was founded upon,” said Nuria Fernandez, FTA administrator. “Without reliable and resilient transportation, more people will end up in poverty, and fewer will be able to improve their lives. This grant will improve access to jobs, food, and healthcare – the ingredients to a better quality of life.”
Following a competitive process, FTA is awarding $6 million to the University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies, Toole Design Group, and the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Urban Movement Labs to design and lead the new Mobility, Access, and Transportation Insecurity: Creating Links to Opportunity Program (MATI) research program.
The MATI program will develop and implement demonstrations that rely on public transportation to mitigate transportation insecurity and evaluate outcomes and effectiveness, according to the FTA. The team also will document the impacts and potential strategies to address transportation insecurity, such as improved access to job training that leads to improved work performance and often results in increased earnings.
After recruiting and selecting representative communities, the research team will document the impacts and potential strategies to address transportation insecurity.
As part of the research project, the consortium will establish partnerships with local community-based organizations to ensure cultural diversity and equity in the populations identified through the MATI research program.