Center for Transportation Studies awarded $6 million from Federal Transit Administration to address transportation insecurity
The University of Minnesota Center for Transportation Studies and its partners have been awarded $6 million by the Federal Transit Administration to design and lead a new Mobility, Access and Transportation Insecurity: Creating Links to Opportunity Program (MATI).
“Access to food, employment, healthcare, education and other essential services is tied to circumstances such as limited income and inability to drive, as well as a lack of social resources,” said Kyle Shelton, CTS director and project co-lead. “This substantial award from FTA provides our team with the ability to engage people on the community level to provide real-world solutions to transportation insecurity.”
According to FTA, one in four Americans is unable to regularly and reliably access transportation they require to meet their daily needs. A growing body of research indicates that transportation insecurity is a significant factor in persistent poverty. Nationally, several well-established policies and programs aim to address food insecurity and housing insecurity, but not transportation insecurity.
"Transportation gives us the freedom our nation was founded upon," said FTA Administrator Nuria Fernandez. "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."
MATI researchers will identify and address the contributing factors leading to transportation insecurity. The research team includes project co-lead Professor Yingling Fan from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and partners Toole Design Group, the Center for Neighborhood Technology and Urban Movement Labs. The researchers will work with communities and mobility providers across the country to develop and implement participatory demonstrations that rely on public transportation to mitigate transportation insecurity, evaluate outcomes and effectiveness, and document impacts and potential strategies. The project is anticipated to conclude in 2027.
About the Center for Transportation Studies
The Center for Transportation Studies at the University of Minnesota is a national leader in transportation research, engagement and education. CTS collaborates with public-sector, industry and academic partners to shape transportation systems that are sustainable, serve the needs of all users, support a strong economy and improve our collective quality of life.