As proponents of a sustainable future with reduced emphasis on vehicle ownership and shared use of resources, STEMS Lab has deep interests in transportation planning and transportation's impacts on equity, health, and well-being. STEMS Lab also possesses expertise in understanding how users respond to shocks in the transportation system. Shocks, human-driven or climate-driven, severely impact travel behavior and future travel demand. For instance, our recent work investigated COVID-19 impacts on travel behavior, trip-making, and activity participation. We continue to be involved in data-driven investigations on the impact of mass evacuations (triggered by climate hazards such as hurricanes and wildfires) on vulnerable populations who may face challenges evacuating – either due to reduced resources or significant other constraints (such as health and mobility). Additionally, we have also conducted studies on the impact of transportation choices on longer-term lifestyle decisions such as residential location, health/well-being, and social welfare.
In our quest to play a role in creating equitable, inclusive transportation systems, we are currently looking at identifying travel behavioral challenges faced by users with travel-restricted medical conditions and the potential for emerging mobility systems to bridge mobility and accessibility gaps of these disadvantaged segments. We have also conducted past assessments on estimating transportation system/project impacts on air quality, equity, health, and well-being and are always looking to work more for our communities. Lastly, we are also interested in exploring the role of sustainable transport systems on community access to healthy foods, jobs, and healthcare.