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Suggested Citation:"1.0 Objectives of the Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes—Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24992.
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Suggested Citation:"1.0 Objectives of the Research." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes—Final Report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24992.
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NCHRP 08‐100: Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes  Page 1  1.0 Objectives of the Research Through Executive Order 12898, U.S. DOT Order 5610.2(a), and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  U.S. DOT  requires  transportation agencies  to  consider environmental  justice  (EJ)  in all  transportation  programs, policies, and activities.    Specifically, U.S. DOT Environmental  Justice Order 5610.2(a) notes  that the core principles of environmental justice are:  avoidance of disproportionately high and adverse  effects  of  future  programs,  policies,  and  activities  on  low‐income  and minority  populations;  and  the  provision of access to public information concerning the health or environmental impacts of programs,  policies, and activities on such populations.  The order also emphasizes the importance of ensuring that  no person is denied the benefits of any federal program or activity on the basis of race, color, or national  origin  under  Title  VI  of  the  Civil  Rights Act.    In  view  of U.S. DOT’s  emphasis  on  performance‐based  analysis for transportation decisionmaking, the ability of tolling actions to adhere to these principles will  be evaluated by identifying appropriate metrics pertinent to a number of performance measures.  There is a growing body of equity‐related transportation research, as evidenced by the research team’s  literature  review  (see  Appendix  A),  that  explores  the  impact  of  tolling  on  low‐income  populations,  among other equity dimensions (e.g., spatial, market, modal, generational).  Rarely, however, are these  tolling‐related equity research studies working within the  language or  lens of environmental  justice or  specifically  focused  on  building  a  practitioners  base  of  knowledge  for  preparing  a  comprehensive  environmental  justice  assessment.    An  initial  state‐of‐the‐practice  scan  of  state  and  regional  transportation agency planning and environmental studies on toll implementation also found only a few  practical examples detailing how environmental justice may be effectively considered (see Appendix B).    In  light  of  the  existing  literature  review  and  the  disappointing  initial  state‐of‐the‐practice  scan,  the  Research Team was able to confirm the need and importance of preparing a Guidebook and Toolbox to  assist the practitioner who  is charged with addressing  the environmental  justice considerations of  toll  implementation and rate change actions at various stages of transportation decisionmaking.    To  support  the development of  the Guidebook and Toolbox elements,  the Research Team undertook  other forms of research  in addition to the  literature review,  including  interviews, development of case  studies,  investigation of applied methods and effective practices research.   This research had multiple  objectives:    To  identify and characterize  the  types of  impact‐causing attributes  in  toll  implementation and  rate change actions;   To  describe  the  extent  and  severity  of  tolling  impacts  such  as  its  impacts  on  mobility,  accessibility  and  safety and household  income as  they may be borne by  various populations,  including low‐income and minority populations;   To illustrate how the impacts might vary by toll implementation or rate change action and how  they have been studied for planning and impact assessment purposes by region or corridor, by  trip purpose, and other factors;  To  recognize  the  types  of  trade‐offs  that  are  involved  for  users  –  particularly  low‐income  or  minority populations –  in making travel choices (e.g., with respect to  travel time/reliability and  cost, mode choice, and place of employment and other travel‐related decisions); and   To highlight the range of mitigation strategies being tried to address potential adverse impacts  on various toll implementation projects.    

NCHRP 08‐100: Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes  Page 2  The Guidebook and Toolbox elements –  the principal products of  this research effort – are  intended  to  convey  to  practitioners:  key  considerations,  procedures,  and  tools  for  undertaking  a  full‐disclosure  analysis  and  measurement  of  the  aforementioned  impacts;  strategies  to  meaningfully  engage  low‐ income and minority  populations  in  the analysis process so  that public and decisionmakers can assess  the  consequences  and  trade‐offs  in  toll  implementation  and  rate  change  actions;  and  to  adequately  prepare and document an environmental justice finding that is consistent with the FHWA and DOT Orders  and balances the adverse effects and benefits, including ways to mitigate and offset the impacts of tolling  on low‐income and minority populations.    The  purpose  of  the  Guidebook  is  primarily  to  show  how  to  apply  tools  and  case  examples  in  the  accompanying Toolbox via a suggested eight‐step process  framework  for assessing  the environmental  justice  implications of  toll  implementation or  rate changes.   The process  framework generally  follows  the  typical  steps  of  transportation  project  planning  and  development  (i.e.,  scoping,  impact  and  mitigation assessment, and monitoring).  The process framework and application of tools is intended to  be  scalable  depending  on  what  analysis  and  public  engagement  indicate  as  the  potential  for  disproportionately high and adverse effects of  the  toll  implementation or  rate change on  low‐income  and minority populations.  In this way, the process framework shows how the tools and case examples  can be applied as part of the environmental review by U.S. DOT of a toll implementation or rate change  under  the  National  Environmental  Policy  Act  (NEPA).    However,  this  does  not mean  that  EJ‐tolling  analysis should be performed only for toll  implementation and rate changes that are subject to review  by U.S. DOT under NEPA.   There are often other  reasons –  for example, agency policy or community  relations – for conducting an EJ‐tolling analysis.      The Guidebook’s process  framework and the selected Toolbox elements are  intended to be  instructive  and  relevant  across  a  full  spectrum  of  toll  pricing  concepts  and  contexts.    The  need  to  identify  and  address  environmental  justice  considerations  can  be  confronted  by  different decisionmakers  at  each  stage  of  transportation  decisionmaking,  including,  for  example, metropolitan  planning  organizations  (MPOs)  in  adopting  fiscally  constrained  long  range  transportation  plans,  public  toll  authorities  in  approving  rate  changes,  and  FHWA  in  approving  federal  credit  assistance  through  the  Transportation  Infrastructure  Finance and Innovation Act program.    Additional details on  the  research methodology and  findings  that  informed  the Guidebook and Toolbox  elements are presented  in subsequent sections of this Final Research Report.   The final products of this  research effort can be found under separate cover.      

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TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Web-Only Document 237: Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes—Final Report presents information gathered in the development of NCHRP Research Report 860: Assessing the Environmental Justice Effects of Toll Implementation or Rate Changes: Guidebook and Toolbox. This web-only document summarizes the technical research and presents the technical memorandum that documents the literature, existing case studies, resource documents, and other reports compiled.

NCHRP Research Report 860 provides a set of tools to enable analysis and measurement of the impacts of toll pricing, toll payment, toll collection technology, and other aspects of toll implementation and rate changes on low-income and minority populations.

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