Status
In Progress
Activity
Research
Principal Investigator
Project Dates
1/1/2024 - 12/31/2024
Approximate Project Cost
$150,000

"Safety and Public Health Impacts of Microtransit Services" is a research initiative that seeks to understand the broader implications of on-demand microtransit services on community safety and public health. Given the rapid emergence of these services, especially in suburban and rural areas of Massachusetts, the project is designed to investigate two main aspects: the reduction in road safety risks for transit passengers and the effects of induced microtransit trips on public health. The research is divided into two parts. The first part quantifies the change in safety risk for microtransit passengers who switch from walking, bicycling, or using fixed-route transit. This involves analyzing microtransit trip records and pedestrian crash data to understand roadway characteristics and associated risks. The second part examines the public health impact of new access afforded by microtransit, especially in terms of employment, education, medical care, healthy food, and social activities. The research will leverage data from the Berkshire Regional Transit Authority’s microtransit service and potentially other operators, employing methods such as survey analysis, mathematical modeling, and pedestrian crash risk analysis. The project is collaborative and interdisciplinary, involving the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), microtransit operators, and students from various disciplines. The findings will be shared with MassDOT and microtransit operators to guide funding and operational decisions, and disseminated through academic publications and conferences.