In 2006, the Federal Transit Administration Office of Civil Rights initiated the Transportation Equity Research Program (TERP) pursuant to Section 3046(a)(3) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act, a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). Section 3046(a)(3) states that
"not less than $1 million of research funds shall be allocated towards research and demonstration activities that focus on the impacts that transportation planning, investment, and operations have on low-income and minority populations that are transit dependent. Such activities shall include the development of strategies to advance economic and community development in low-income and minority communities and the development of training programs that promote the employment of low-income and minority residents on Federal-aid transportation projects constructed in their communities."
Pursuant to this provision, the TERP program includes research in four areas:
- Research and demonstration projects to assess the impacts of transportation planning, investment, and operations on minority and low-income populations.
- Research on strategies to promote employment in transit construction projects by members of minority and low-income communities.
- Demonstration projects to assist transit agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and state Departments of Transportation provide language assistance to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP).
- Research and demonstration projects to assist transit agencies, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and State Departments of Transportation address, in the course of planning and implementing emergency preparedness activities, the unique needs of minority, low-income, and LEP persons.
FTA has awarded Fiscal Year (FY) 2006 TERP funds to the following projects:
- A cooperative agreement has been awarded to a coalition of academic institutions and community-based organizations lead by Morgan State University to develop a toolkit that will assist transportation planners and community members identify and address local environmental justice issues in transportation. The project's literature review (MS Word) on transportation and environmental justice is available. The project has also produced an analysis of environmental justice and public involvement in transportation decision making (MS Word) and a proposal for an accessibility calculator that will calculate and compare travel times and other measures from a demographic cross-section of communities to employment and non-work destinations in a given metropolitan region. More information on this project can be found at http://www.brejtp.com/
- A cooperative agreement has been awarded to the University of Michigan to research the extent to which residents of Detroit, Michigan's inner citiy neighborhoods have difficulty accessing jobs and essential non-work activities due to the transportation network and the spatial structure of land-use in the region, and the extent to which past investments in transportation infrastructure and services have contributed to changes in accessibility for persons in inner city neighborhoods.
- A cooperative agreement has been awarded to the University of Southern California to research strategies for employing minority and low-income persons in transit construction projects in selected metropolitan areas across thec country.
- Cooperative agreements have been awarded to the Tri-County Metropolitan Transit District (TriMet) and the Alaska Department of Transportation to prepare model language implementation plans consistent with the U.S. Department of Transportation's Policy Guidance Concerning Recipients' Responsibilities to LEP persons. A copy of TriMet's language implementation plan (MS Word) is available at the above link.
- A contract has been awarded to Milligan and Company, LLC to prepare a "State of the Practice Report" (MS Word) that identifies how transit providers, metropolitan planning organizations, and state departments of transportation are incorporating the needs of minoroty, low-income and LEP persons into their emergency preparedness, distaster response, and disaster recovery efforts. The report pursuant to this study is available at the above link.
- A cooperative agreemen has been awarded to a coalition of academic institutions and community-based organizations lead by the University of New Orleans to develop technical assistance tools, including an instructional manual and a professional development course, that will assist transportation planners and community organizations in assistng transportation-disadvantaged persons in emergencies.
Additional products of the above cooperative agreements will be posted to this web page once the deliverables are finalized. Questions regarding the Transportation Equity Research Program should be directed to the FTA Title VI Coordinator at 202-366-4018.