Equity-Oriented Performance Measures in Transportation Planning

PAS Memo — March-April 2020

By Audrey Wennink, Agustina Krapp


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Transportation conditions have a significant impact on community residents’ quality of life. People of color and those with lower incomes, who are less likely to own cars and may not live in areas well served by transit, experience worse transportation outcomes, often having to travel farther and experience more difficult trips to access employment and other critical needs. These inferior transportation outcomes are the result of decades of inequitable, auto-oriented planning alongside discriminatory land-use and transportation planning and policy decisions resulting from structural racism.

Planners must work proactively to improve communities that have historically experienced disinvestment and negative impacts. What methods can transportation planners use to ensure that future investments are strategically targeted to offer greater benefits to marginalized groups, mitigate the effects of past discrimination, and improve residents’ quality of life?

This PAS Memo examines the use of equity-based performance measurement criteria in the transportation investment prioritization processes of metropolitan planning organizations, and it offers guidance to planners for evaluating and improving equity considerations in their jurisdictions' transportation planning practices.


Page Count
Date Published
March 1, 2020
Adobe PDF
American Planning Association

About the Authors

Audrey Wennink

Agustina Krapp