Discipline: Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
Subcategory: Social Sciences/Psychology/Economics
Vishanya Forbes - Savannah State University
Co-Author(s): Deden Rukmana, Savannah State University, Savannah, GA
The lack of reliable and affordable transportation in low-income neighborhoods enhances severe health issues and makes it difficult for these residents to access the basic opportunities offered by society. The politics associated with transportation planning in urban neighborhoods hinders transportation equity and facilitates poverty. As stated by (Garrett, 1999), although the primary market for transit systems is made up of low-income individuals, transit policy has tended to focus on recapturing lost markets to private vehicles, through expanded suburban bus, express bus, and fuel rail systems, and less on improving well-patronized transit service in low-income, central city areas which serves a high proportion of transit dependents. If poor people acquire access to reliable and affordable public transportation that is in close proximity to their homes, social equity wouldn’t be characterized as an incommensurable case and the need to maintain social equity of the haves may no longer need to come at the expense of the have-nots. The focal point of this research is to analyze how the social equity of resident living in the low-income neighborhoods of Savannah, GA is affected by urban transportation planning. It is to gain answers to questions such as; how communities/neighborhoods shape health practices and determine the overall social equity of the community/neighborhoods; and how social equity of the poor is determined by their access to good public transportation. With new employment being created further and further away from urban areas, low-income workers often experience issues getting to jobs, training and other services because of deficient transportation. (Criden, 2008; Sanchez, 2003) This research will use the survey to residents of seven low-income neighborhoods in Savannah GA. The survey was conducted in August – December 2013 with 369 residents in terms of walking assessment, eating habits, health history, and built environment. We observed a higher percentage of the residents in these poor neighborhoods falling within the categories of overweight to obese, a higher percentage of residents who traveled to work or school via the bus than owned motor vehicles, a higher percentage who spent two hours or more traveling to and from work on a daily basis. In the continuation of this research we ultimately aim to show how low-income residents are being vilified for measures beyond their control, why they are forced to develop an unhealthy eating practice being boxed into food deserts. This research will use the application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and collect public transportation data including bus routes and the location of bus stops. This research attempts to uncover how combing social equity and transportation plans for poor neighborhoods and communities within Savannah, GA will increase the quality of life of the residents living there by solving numerous issues the residents of these poor neighborhoods are faced with on a daily basis, how with transportation equity we can close the social equity gap in Savannah, GA, and aid in reducing the poverty rate.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Funding for this research was provided by an NSF/TIPS-ITS grant to Deden Rukmana.
Faculty Advisor: Deden Rukmana, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: In addition to writing this abstract, I am responsible for: 1.) The compilation of scholarly articles that were used as references for the research. 2.) Constructing the literature review and annotated bibliography. 3.) Generating the research questions pertaining to our study. 4.) It was also my duty to clean and process the data collected from the surveys in order for it to be analyzed. 5.) Data analysis, generating the tables, graphs, and charts to aid in interpretation of the data.