Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social sustainability through transportation equity and job access in the Phoenix metropolitan area
by Howland, Steven Anthony, M.U.P., Arizona State University, 2010, 116; 1486625
Abstract (Summary)

With the development patterns of the Phoenix metropolitan area and the arduous journeys created by transit serving distant suburbs, car ownership is viewed as a step toward creating better job access by past researchers on the spatial-mismatch hypothesis. However, they also agree that cost of car ownership is a hindrance to that. What past research has not shown is how much of an impact the cost of car ownership would have on the budgets of low-income households.

By using 2SFCA, this thesis examines how gasoline prices and the cost of car ownership impact job accessibility and transportation equity for low-income workers in the Phoenix metropolitan area. The first step uses a 10 mile radius around each employer location. That 10 mile radius sums the number of workers in each census tract it intercepts creating a jobs/workers ratio. The second step determines the demand for jobs at each employer location by using transportation expenditures as 20% of median household income for a census tract. Then by using the AAA cost of car ownership, 250 working days per year, and the number of workers per household, the transportation expenditure is converted to the number of miles each worker in that census tract is potentially able to travel to and from work each day. It is determined a worker is able to access a job if their travel distance intersects an employer location with jobs of their wage level. Since it is also known that gas prices are very likely to continue increasing over time, this thesis also uses the AAA cost of car ownership to observe what will happen to job accessibility as gasoline prices increase to $3, $4, and $5 per gallon.

The results of this thesis show that low-income households in the Phoenix metropolitan area have very low levels of job accessibility and to reach equity, they have to spend nearly 40% of their budgets on transportation. It is also found that as gasoline prices increase, median income households also have to begin spending much more on transportation to maintain job accessibility by driving.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Balsas, Carlos
School: Arizona State University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, Transportation, Urban planning, Administration of Urban Planning and Community and Rural Development
Keywords: Arizona
Publication Number: 1486625
ISBN: 978-1-124-26574-2
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