Ongoing Projects

Fairness of Transport Systems

Partly funded by the Israel Science Foundation, this project examines the fairness of the transport systems. The objective is to systematically analyze who is enjoying the benefits generated by the extensive transport networks built over decades of massive investments in infrastructure – and who is missing out on these fruits. The first series of analyses has focused on the 49 largest US metropolitan areas, drawing on accessibility data generously provided by the Accessibility Observatory. The analyses compare accessibility patterns within and across the metropolitan areas, along dimensions of income, car-ownership and ethnicity.

The project also explores what can explain the vast differences between the metros, by probing into the impacts of factors like housing density, polycentricity, poverty levels, and road congestion. Beyond academic publications, the project has produced the Accessibility Sufficiency Dashboard. This interactive web interface allows researchers to explore the (un)fairness of accessibility patterns in US metropolitan areas in further detail. Lab researchers involved in the project include alumni: Matan Singer, Aviv Lee Cohen Zada, John Pritchard and Anna Zanchetta.

Transport Justice in Sub-Saharan Africa

Tansport_Africa Partly funded by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, the aim of this initiative is to gain a deeper understanding of the changing landscape of transport (in)justice in African cities. In particular, the research strand seeks to understand how (proposed) changes in the transport systems and land use patterns may degrade or enhance the ability of disadvantaged groups to access daily needs.

Within the framework of this new initiative, Wambũi Kariuki is studying how informal public transport, the backbone of motorized transport in Sub-Saharan Africa, can be made relevant for both the urban poor and the emerging middle classes, using the theoretical concept of dignity. Chebe Polycap, who will soon be joining the Fair Transport Lab, will analyze how new transport investments are affecting walking patterns in African cities, with particular attention for the urban poor. Jointly with researchers from Rwanda, Malawi and South-Africa, Karel Martens is exploring how the theoretical concepts developed in his book   can be applied to the Sub-Saharan context.

Freedom of Mobility

Bus_Stop_IL Funded in part by the Institute for Transport Innovation, the purpose of this project is to develop methods and tools to directly measure travel problems across a population. By systematically measuring travel problems rather than merely observed travel patterns, the project seeks to develop a new evidence based that can ultimately feed transport planning and policy. As part of this project, two large scale surveys have been conducted in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area, one before and one during the COVID-pandemic, using the Freedom of Mobility Survey tool. Lab alumni Gali Freund, John Pritchard and Matan Singer all contribute to this project. Gali reports on the first results of this project in her master thesis titled ‘Time, Money, and Trips You Didn’t Make: Transport Problems from a Wider Angle’.

Mobility beyond Middle-Income and Middle-Age

Man_Cross The aim of this research strand is to understand and analyze the mobility challenges faced by groups that tend to receive limited attention in transport policies and investments. Avital Arbel is studying how teenagers living in ex-urbs and rural communities manage their mobility, exploring how they conceptualize a fair transport system in their localities. Omer Dillian is developing an approach to understand how people may lose existing, and acquire new, mobility skills at older age. Matan Singer was studying the travel behavior of individuals with cognitive impairments and their barriers to using public transport, developing the concept of ‘cognitive mainstreaming’ and policy-relevant guidelines to address the mobility needs of people with cognitive impairments.

Emerging Transport Modes for Transport Justice?

Bus_Singapore This research project explores which population groups might be served by emerging transport modes – and which groups may have little to gain from the buzz around new trends and innovations. Emily Soh studied the promise of autonomous vehicles (AVs). Using the Ethical Delphi method, she has analyzed to what extent AV professionals in Israel and Singapore relate to key public values in their work, such as equity, democracy and privacy. Her published work can be found on the lab’s  website.

Avi Parsha has focused on cycling, which is receiving increasing attention and funding in cities around the world. He has explored the relationship between social identity and cycling among women in Tel Aviv, finding that the hip and young image of the typical cyclist creates a barrier to cycling for underprivileged groups. He published his findings not only in his master thesis titled Social identity and cycling among women: The case of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, but also in a paper published in  Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour.

Changing Policies to Promote Transport Justice

Car_Lease Policies always affect different people in different ways. The purpose of this project is to critically scrutinize transport policies through a transport justice lens. Within this context, Ya’ara Tsairi is examining employer mobility policies. These policies strongly shape employees’ travel behavior. Moreover, these policies tend to prefer certain transport modes and certain employees over others. This research explores the socially desired role of employer policies towards employee transport, drawing on notions of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and transport justice.