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Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes—Final Report (2018)

Chapter: Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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:"Appendix C State of the Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire." 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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Appendix C ‐ 1  Appendix C State‐of‐the‐Practice Interviews: Protocols for Interviews and Questionnaire

Appendix C ‐ 2  C.1   Target Interviewees for State‐of‐Practice Interviews   A sample contact list for State‐of‐Practice interviews was developed principally targeting knowledgeable  representatives within tolling authorities and transportation agencies who have familiarity with a range  of activities for bringing tolling projects through implementation. The targeted interviewees represented  a mix of agencies, regions, and  types of  toll  facilities. Several sources  from  the  literature review were  consulted  to  develop  the  target  list,  including  FHWA’s  2012  Priced  Managed  Lanes  Guide,  which  identifies 21 priced managed lane projects that are either operational or nearing completion.    The  sample  list  of  contacts  included  persons  at  U.S.  DOT,  state  DOTs,  MPOs,  or  those  who  have  expertise  or  familiarity with  civil  rights,  the Office  of  Innovative  Program Delivery,  or  specific  tolling  initiatives of the Value Pricing Program and the UPA/CRD programs. These representatives ensured that  the sample  list of  interviewees  included sponsoring agencies and expert practitioners  that could offer  insight on  the  current  state‐of‐the‐practice, or who  could  speak with experience about  innovative or  creative approaches to address EJ considerations on toll pricing projects.    The  sample  interview  list also  included project  sponsors using  federal  funds, private  sponsors, public  tolling agencies, FHWA and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) officials, officials from state DOTs and  MPOs,  private‐sector  individuals  with  subject  matter  expertise  (e.g.,  travel  demand  modeling,  economics, market research, public  involvement and communications, socioeconomics, environmental  compliance, tolling operations), and experts from policy institutions and academia. Also included on the  sample contact list were individuals and advocacy organizations that represent or serve low‐income and  minority residents who have been affected by, or are concerned with, the methods, findings, mitigation,  and commitments made in toll implementation projects. 

Appendix C ‐ 3  C.2  Sample Outreach Text to Solicit Potential Interviewee   Hello [Name of Interviewee],  I am writing to ask if I could speak with you about your experience with environmental justice analyses  related to new toll facilities or rate increases on existing tolled facilities.   I am on a Research Team that is preparing a Guidebook to help public agencies and practitioners identify  and assess the environmental justice impacts of new tolled facilities or rate increases on existing tolled  facilities. This project is funded by NCHRP and the National Academy of Sciences. Our Research Team is  led by staff at Louis Berger and Rutgers University.  The questions I would like to discuss with you cover the following topics:  1. At your agency, what is the state‐of‐the‐practice for environmental justice analysis and outreach for toll projects? For example: a. When in the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes do environmental justice analyses happen? b. What methods and data sources are used to identify the impacts toll projects may have on populations of concern? c. How are public involvement opportunities structured? 2. In what ways do you think agencies could improve their environmental justice analyses in future? 1. What new methods or approaches should be considered? 2. What resources could be provided to help practitioners improve the environmental justice analyses of tolling projects? Would you be the right person for me to interview about these issues at [Agency Name]? If so, I am  hoping to schedule a time soon when you could spare about an hour for an interview.  If you would not be the right person at [Agency Name] for me to interview, could you suggest with  whom I should speak?  Thank you very much for your help.  Sincerely,  [Your name]

Appendix C ‐ 4  C.3  Information for the Interviewer to Collect Before the Interview   1. The organization’s primary mission: 2. Geographic area served by the organization: 3. What is the name of the project to be discussed? 4. What stage(s) of transportation decisionmaking will this interview address: Policy Research; Statewide and Metropolitan Planning; Project Planning/Feasibility; Project Development and NEPA; Operations; or some combination of these various stages? 5. What are the tolled facilities that the interviewer will be discussing (e.g., bridge, highway, HOT lanes)? a. What are the toll rates? b. What type of pricing scheme and tolling context (e.g., managed lanes/HOT lanes; congestion pricing; peak period; dynamic; cordon pricing; fixed price, all‐electronic) is used to operate the facility? c. Does the tolled facility have untolled lanes? d. How are tolls collected ‐ cash only, cash and transponder, transponder only, other? 6. Based on review of available prior reports and published information (e.g. websites and environmental documents) seek to ascertain the following with some consideration given to before and after implementation conditions: a. What was the purpose and need for the project? b. Who made the decision for the toll implementation or rate change? c. How was the public involved in that decision? d. What was the project's area of potential impact and how was this determined? e. What were the pre‐project conditions (level of service, ADT, number of untolled lanes, number of HOV lanes, number of HOT lanes) and the post‐project conditions? f. In the pre‐implementation, was the subject facility tolled? If yes, how? Is this still how tolls are collected? If changed, how has it changed? 7. Is there any evidence of changes in the user population of the roadway facility after toll implementation or pricing change? Was this change predicted in pre‐implementation reports? Name of  Interviewee:  ______________________________________________________   Organization to Be Interviewed:  ______________________________________________________  Title of Interviewee:  ______________________________________________________  Phone Number:  ______________________________________________________  Email Address:  ______________________________________________________  Date & Time of Interview:   ______________________________________________________  Name of Interviewer:  ______________________________________________________ 

Appendix C ‐ 5  8. Were the demographics of the public described in relationship to any public involvement plans or reports prepared by the agency as they were making their decision?  Was specific attention given to outreach to low‐income and minority populations? 9. For interviewees who work for an agency with tolled facilities for which a transponder can or must be used to access the tolled facility: a. How does one apply for or get a transponder? (e.g., online application, mail‐in application, visit headquarters, retail stores, gas stations, convenience stores). b. What is the “start‐up” price for having access to a transponder or toll account? (Is there a fee? Is there a required initial deposit?) c. Are there monthly or other regular service fees? d. What are the options for account replenishment? (e.g., online, automatically replenished from a checking account or credit card, by mail, or at locations where this can be done in person. If relevant, be sure to note number and location of locations for in‐person replenishment. ) e. Are there any pricing discounts or differences between the use of cash or transponder? f. In what languages is information provided about transponder policies? Useful  websites  or  documents  to  consult  (e.g.,  websites  with  transponder  policies  or  toll  rates,  or  environmental documents)

Appendix C ‐ 6  C.4  Instructions for Interviewers to Begin Interview Call   Environmental Justice Analysis When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes   [After hellos/greetings]  I anticipate that our interview will last approximately an hour.  Let me  first  remind  you  about  the  purpose  of  today’s  interview.  I  am  on  a  Research  Team  that  is  preparing a Guidebook to help public agencies and practitioners  identify and assess the environmental  justice  impacts of tolling. We are  interested  in both new tolled facilities and rate  increases on existing  tolled  facilities. This project  is  funded by NCHRP and the National Academy of Sciences. Our Research  Team is led by staff at Louis Berger and Rutgers University.  You  are one of  several  experts we will  talk with  to  explore  your  experience with  the  environmental  justice issues related to tolling. I’m first going to ask a series of questions to  learn what environmental  justice  analysis  your  organization  has  done  to  date.  Then,  I’d  like  to  ask  your  opinions  about  how  practitioners might improve their future work on this topic.  With your permission, we will  include your name and affiliation  in the published report,  in a  list of all  people  interviewed.  In addition, we might describe specific  facts you  tell us about how  [organization]  has conducted  its EJ work. However, we will keep strictly confidential any opinions you share with us  about ideas for how your organization or others might improve future environmental justice analysis of  tolling projects. I hope you will therefore feel free to share your candid opinions.  Are you comfortable with this plan? [If no, find out what the interviewee would like instead.]  I would like to record our interview today, so that I can later recheck any notes I take that aren’t clear.   Is this ok with you?   Do you have any questions before we begin?  Ok, let’s get started! 

     Appendix C ‐ 7  STATE OF THE PRACTICE:   INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE FOR PRACTITIONERS  Environmental Justice Analysis When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes     Environmental Justice Analyses When Considering Toll Implementation or Rate Changes is a project of the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) of the National Academies of Sciences. The result of this project will be a Guidebook for agencies and practitioners to enable a full-disclosure analysis and measurement of EJ impacts for toll-related projects. This structured interview questionnaire is intended to support a comprehensive discussion with one or more subject matter experts within an agency or organization in order to thoroughly explore their insights and experience with toll implementation and the study of EJ. The Research Team seeks to encourage a frank discussion of lessons learned in the study and implementation of existing tolling projects as they affect low-income and minority populations. The questionnaire is also intended to assist the Research Team identify specific needs or gaps in existing practices and decision-making processes that warrant further attention in a guidance document.       Instructions: This questionnaire is intended be used in a structured interview that will be administered by phone. This document was sent to you for informational purposes so that you may review the questions before or during the phone interview. You do not need to fill out the questions prior to the interview. The interviewer will prepare notes to document the interview. The interviews may be recorded with your permission to facilitate interviewers in recording your responses completely. If you prefer that your name or organization not be associated with some or all of your comments, we will accommodate your request. We estimate that the interview will take approximately an hour. Thank you in advance for your participation. Complete Before Call:  Name of  Interviewee:  ______________________________________________________   Organization:  ______________________________________________________  Title:  ______________________________________________________  Phone Number:  ______________________________________________________  Email Address:  ______________________________________________________  Date & Time of Interview:   ______________________________________________________  Name of Interviewer:  ______________________________________________________       

Appendix C ‐ 8  1. BACKGROUND & ORGANIZATION 1.1 Could you tell me briefly about what work you've done related to tolling and environmental  justice, either at [organization] or earlier in your career?  1.2  What types of tolling projects does [organization] get involved with?  1.3 In what capacity does [organization] get involved with toll implementation and pricing?    What responsibility does [organization] have for planning, decisionmaking, or implementation?  When in the planning process does [organization] get involved? 2. ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE ANALYSES 2.1 What are the responsibilities [organization] has with respect to environmental justice analyses  on toll projects?   Is [organization] responsible for environmental reviews (including environmental justice assessments)?  If not, does the [organization] participate in such work?  Does [organization] have a specific policy or procedure for conducting an EJ analysis on a toll project?  Do you provide training to project level analysts prior to conducting an EJ analysis? 2.2 Has [organization] done any environmental justice analysis outside of the environmental review  process?   Has [organization] conducted other studies that have focused on tolling facility’s effects upon low‐income, minority and other disadvantaged populations, but was not formally considered EJ? 2.3 Does [organization] do an environmental justice (EJ) analysis or consider effects to low‐income  and minority populations when changing their toll rate schedules?   Why or why not?  Is any public input considered in toll rate increases? 2.4 When [organization] does an analysis of stakeholder (or distributional) impacts of toll projects,  what sociodemographic groups are selected for study?   Do you look at low‐income travelers and communities?  Do you look at race?  Do you look at any other groups?

Appendix C ‐ 9  2.5 For  analysis  of  toll  projects,  what  methods  or  processes  has  [organization]  used  to  identify  populations who might be affected and the likely impact on other disadvantaged groups? (e.g.,  low‐income  populations,  minority  populations,  or  other  traditionally  disadvantaged  populations?)  Have  travel  demand  models  been  used  to  identify  the  travel  patterns  of  affected populations relevant for an EJ analysis?  Have geospatial models been used to locate affected populations?  At what scale (census tract, zip code, TAZ, etc.)  Have any surveys been done to gather information on the travel behavior or opinions of the  people  relevant  for  EJ  and  other  traditionally  disadvantaged  stakeholder  impact analyses? (e.g., income, race, age, gender, transit, auto, commuter)  Who was surveyed?  What information was the survey designed to collect?  What survey method was used?  In which languages were the surveys conducted?  Have any focus groups been done?  Who participated?  In what languages were the focus groups conducted?  What information was collected from the focus groups?  Overall, how successful were the focus groups at gathering information useful for an analysis of impacts to EJ and other disadvantaged stakeholders?  What analysis methods have been used?  Did the analysis look at how many people might pay the tolls from EJ or other disadvantaged groups?  Did the analysis look at how much drivers in different income groups would pay per month or year?  Or what the toll’s “cost burden” on the traveler’s budget would be?  Overall, how successful were these surveys and models for gathering information useful for analyzing effects on EJ and other disadvantaged groups?  What measures and metrics were used to conduct the analysis (e.g., VMT; vehicle hours traveled (VHT), vehicle hours delayed (VHD), travel speeds, travel time, traffic volumes)?  Was any modeling done to estimate whether new tolls or higher toll rates would divert traffic  into parallel  roads  in  communities with  EJ or other  traditionally disadvantaged populations?  How successful were these efforts at gathering useful information?  What data sources and analysis methods were used?

Appendix C ‐ 10   Were other geospatial and traffic related data sources and analysis methods considered but ultimately  rejected  to assess  the benefits and burdens  impacts upon EJ and other disadvantaged populations?  What were these data sources or analysis methods?  Why weren’t these data sources or analysis methods used?  Was  the  toll  pricing  level(s)  and method  of  toll  collection  defined  at  the  time  of  the analysis?  Is this still the toll pricing level and method for toll collection today?  If not, how has it changed? 3. TOLL PAYMENT ACCOUNTS  & TRANSPONDERS 3.1 In what ways has your toll program or projects considered the question of how people can sign  up for and maintain toll payment accounts and transponders?   How have the needs of the “unbanked” been considered? (i.e., people without credit cards or bank accounts)  Has  [organization]  explicitly  considered  the  effect  on  low‐income  drivers  of  a  required minimum balance or monthly maintenance fees?  When in the planning and environmental review process were these toll payment account issues considered?  When in the planning and environmental process was the issue of transponder access first addressed?  Was it considered as part of the studied alternative(s)?  Have these  issues been  identified and addressed as part of formal Environmental  Justice analysis?  Do you look at transponder access as an equity or environmental justice issue? 4. ASSESSING IMPACTS & BENEFITS 4.1 Did the  [organization] consider and compare the beneficial and adverse effects on the overall  population and low‐income and minority populations?    What benefits to low‐income and minority populations were considered?  What adverse effects to low‐income and minority populations were considered?  Did  [organization]  find  a  fair  distribution  of  the  beneficial  and  adverse  effects  for  the overall population and low‐income and minority populations?

Appendix C ‐ 11  4.2 Did  the  [organization]  consider  whether  adverse  impacts  were  appreciably  more  severe  or  greater in magnitude for low‐income or minority populations than other populations?   What would constitute a high and adverse disproportionate impact? 5. MITIGATION & COMMITMENTS 5.1 During  the  planning  or  environmental  review  process,  did  any  studied  alternatives  include  mitigation designed  to avoid or minimize  impacts  to EJ and other  traditionally disadvantaged  populations?   Was  there  consideration of discounted  tolls,  exemptions, or  transit  credit programs  for low‐income populations, minority or other traditionally disadvantaged populations? 5.2 During the environmental review process, what mitigation efforts were identified?   Were the mitigation measures studied ultimately recommended?   Why or why not?  Were the mitigation measures recommended ultimately implemented?   Why or why not?  Were all or parts of the EJ community satisfied with the mitigation efforts?  If there were differences, what were some of differences and why? 5.3 What commitments, if any, were expressed in the environmental document, or in the record of  decision related to equity and environmental justice issues?    How was it verified that these commitments were met? 5.4 After tolls were implemented or raised, has [organization] done any data collection and analysis  of the impacts on EJ and other traditionally disadvantaged stakeholder populations? (e.g., travel  behavior surveys, opinion surveys, analysis of traffic diverted into EJ neighborhoods)   Were the effects on low‐income travelers specifically assessed? 6. PUBLIC OUTREACH AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT 6.1 When in the planning process does [organization] typically engage the public on matters related  to toll implementation, toll pricing and rate changes?  6.2 What methods does [organization] typically use to gather public input on matters related to toll  implementation, toll pricing, and toll rate changes?     Do you hold public meetings? o How successful were these at gathering input from EJ and other disadvantaged stakeholder populations? o What methods were used to make the meetings accessible to EJ and other disadvantaged populations,  given  the  practical  constraints  or  cultural  preferences  that  might  make participation  difficult  for  them?  (e.g.,  advertise  in  community  newspapers  read  by  EJ

Appendix C ‐ 12  populations, provide childcare; locate meeting held at facility within an EJ community, ask EJ  community leaders to arrange the meeting)   Did you use web‐based community participation platforms? o What platforms were used? o How successful were these at gathering input from EJ and other traditionally disadvantaged populations? 6.3 What  have  you  found  to  be  the  greatest  challenge  for  providing  information  and  receiving  feedback  from  EJ  and  other  traditionally  disadvantaged  populations  on  toll  implementation  projects?    What have been the most effective approaches that you have used? 7. GUIDANCE MATERIALS 7.1 Which sources of information have you used to design your EJ and social impacts related work  on toll projects?     Are there guidance or research materials that you have found particularly useful for EJ and social impacts related work on toll implementation and rate changes? (e.g., reports, websites, articles, or other written materials)?  What ideas have you gotten from talking with your peers?  Why and how do you use these resources? 8. ASSESSMENT & WRAP‐UP Finally, we would like to draw upon your expertise and ask for your personal opinions on a few matters.  We  will  keep  your  responses  to  these  questions  strictly  confidential.    Neither  your  name  nor  your  organization’s name will be published in conjunction with your responses here, so I hope you will feel free  to speak candidly.   8.1 Thinking about what your organization has done on  tolling projects  to examine  impacts on EJ  populations and other traditionally disadvantaged groups. . . Do you consider the results of that  analysis to be both high‐quality and sufficient?  8.2 What  have  you  found  to  be  the  greatest  challenge(s)  in  performing  targeted  community  outreach  and  analyzing  impacts  upon  EJ  populations  and  other  traditionally  disadvantaged  group for toll projects?  8.3 If you were to manage such work for a future toll project at [organization], in what ways would  you like to see the work done differently than it has been in the past?   Do you think that these ideas are likely to be implemented in future?  Why or why not? 8.4 What new guidance or resources do you think practitioners need to help them with the EJ and  other stakeholder‐related impact analysis for toll roads?     Are there tools, techniques or topics you would you like to see addressed in the Guidebook that will be the result of our project?

Appendix C ‐ 13  8.5 Is  there  anything  else  you’d  like  to  tell me  about  the  environmental  justice  and  stakeholder  impact related analysis work done for tolling projects?  8.6 Can you suggest any written reports, case studies, effective practices or other materials that we  should  look  at  as  we  prepare  our  final  guidebook  with  recommendations  about  conducting  environmental justice analyses of toll projects?  8.7 Can you recommend other people we should interview for this project?     (If so, request name, title, organization, contact info, and why they should be interviewed) 8.8 Can we contact you again if we have further questions?  Thank you very much for your time.  We appreciate you sharing your [organization’s] experience with  tolling and environmental justice for this report. 

Next: Appendix D Content Review of Toll Related Travel Surveys: Brief Findings and Summary Table »
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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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