Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Michael Anderson

Committee Member

Abdullahi Salman

Committee Member

Ashraf Al-Hamdan


Local transit accessibility--Alabama--Huntsville, Local transit--Alabama--Huntsville--Planning, Older people--Transportation--Alabama--Huntsville, People with disabilities--Transportation--Alabama--Huntsville, Poor--Transportation--Alabama--Huntsville


Access to transportation is a fundamental need for individuals to access employment, healthcare, education, and social activities. However, disadvantaged populations, such as the elderly, people with disabilities, and those with limited incomes, often face transportation challenges, resulting in social and economic disparities. The goal was to address these disparities by examining transit demand and introducing a new performance measure that factors in demographic characteristics, particularly for vulnerable populations. To achieve this, the study utilizes data from the United States Census and transit providers in Alabama. It relies on the Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) to pinpoint areas where vulnerable populations are concentrated, providing a more precise understanding of disadvantaged rider populations. The study has three goals: first, to expand on existing SVI work in Alabama to identify disadvantaged riders across the state; second, to develop a performance metric that considers the number of disadvantaged riders, enhancing transit agencies’ responsiveness to community needs; and third, to use this performance metric to predict the required vehicles and ridership for optimal service. By addressing transit demand for disadvantaged riders and introducing a new performance measure, this study contributes to a more equitable and effective transportation system, fostering social and economic



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