TRB Roundup: EVs and Equity

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From left: UMD Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Qingbin Cui; UMD doctoral student Nneoma Ugwu.

Electric vehicle adoption and the associated challenges, including equity, was a key topic of discussion among UMD researchers who showcased their work at this year’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting in Washington, D.C. 

EVs generally come with a higher price tag compared to their conventional gas-powered counterparts, and ownership is often concentrated in relatively wealthy areas, a trend that influences the distribution of charging stations. Lower income communities, including many that are predominantly Black, thus risk being left out of the EV revolution.

In a paper presented at TRB, UMD Professor Qingbin Cui (civil and environmental engineering) and his co-authors–Michigan Technological University Assistant Professor Abdolmajid Erfani and Federal Highway Administration P3 Program Manager Patrick DeCorla-Souza–propose community crowdfunding as a way of overcoming these disparities. Under their plan, ownership of charging stations would be offered to members of Historically Disadvantaged Communities (HDC) at a steep discount, thus incentivizing not only investment but upkeep.

“By providing ownership opportunities, community members become active stakeholders in the project, aligning their interests with the success and sustainability of the EV infrastructure. This approach not only fosters a sense of ownership and pride but also ensures that the benefits of the charging stations directly flow back to the community,” the authors suggest. The paper presents and evaluates a hypothetical test case in Montgomery County, concluding that rates of returns for the community investors could be as high as 68%. ‘

The research was part of a successful application by the Maryland Clean Energy Coaltion–which includes the UMD-based Build America Center, directed Cui–for a $15 million grant that will support deployment of equitable charging infrastructure.

In a separate TRB panel presentation, meanwhile, UMD doctoral student Nneoma Ugwu examined a burgeoning equity issue associated with EV adoptionxf—namely, the erosion of funding needed for road upkeep, which has traditionally been financed through gas taxes.

Users of fuel-efficient vehicles pay less gas tax, and in the case of EV users may pay no gas tax at all. Because these vehicles are more expensive and tend to be owned by more affluent drivers, the burden of funding is now falling disproportionately on disadvantaged communities, while a mounting transportation funding crisis threatens upkeep.

A Road Usage Charge system, incorporating mileage-based fees, could lay a more sustainable and equitable foundation for future funding, Ugwu and co-presenter Jeffrey Kupko (Michael Baker International) suggested.The panel, "Equity Considerations in Road Usage Charging," was facioitated by Susan Binder, Principal, Integrated Planning & Policy, Cambridge Systematics.

In all, UMD researchers presented more than 40 papers and posters at TRB 2024, covering a wide gamut of transportation engineering studies.

UMD Papers and Presentations At TRB

Researchers are affiliated with UMD unless otherwise noted.

Exploring Commercial Vehicle Detouring Patterns Through the Application of Probe Trajectory Data
Franz, Mark
Zahedian, Sara
Parekh, Dhairya
Emtenan, A. M. Tahsin
Jordan, Gregory

Factors Associated with Driver Distraction: Influence of Risk Taking, Risk Perception, and Crash History
Mehditabriz, Asal, Aghabayk Kayvan (University of Tehran College of Engineering)
Samerei, Seyed (University of Tehran College of Engineering)
Namadi, Saeed Saleh, University of Maryland, College Park
Stephens. Amanda (Monash University Accident Research Centre)

Equity in Road User Charging for Electric Vehicles: Insights from Minority Perspectives
Ugwu, Nneoma M.
Kupko, Jeffrey (Michael Baker International, Inc)

An Ensemble Learning-Based Neural Network Model for Predicting Urban Rail Transit Accident Consequences Category
杰 刘 (Kunming University of Science and Technology)
Liu, Weiyi (Kunming University of Science and Technology)
Li, Xinyao (Wuhan University)
Schonfeld, Paul
Du, Bo (University of Wollongong)

Off-Line and Real-Time Evaluation of Traffic Sensors with a Generalized Detection Performance Monitoring System: Maryland Department of Transportation
Chang, Gang-Len
Lin, Yi-Ting Lin
Huang, Yen-Lin

Eco-Trajectory Planning for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles with the Heuristic Explicit Model Predictive Control
Lei, Yuanzheng
Cheng, Yao Cheng
Yang, Xianfeng

Using Geographically Weighted Models to Explore Temporal and Spatial Varying Impacts on Commute Trip Change Due to COVID-19
Namadi,Saeed Saleh
Tahmasbi, Behnam
Mehditabrizi, Asal
Darzi, Aref
Niemeier, Deb

Exploring the Potential of a Crowdfunding Program to Achieve Equitable Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Cui, Qingbin Cui
Erfani, Abdolmajid (Michigan Technological University)
Decorla-Souza, Patrick (Federal Highway Administration)

Driving Sustainable and Community-Centric Growth Through Tokenization-Based Finance: A Blockchain Solution
Tian, Yifeng (JLL Public Institutions Group)
David, Kristy (Jones Lang LaSalle: JLL)
Qingbin Cui

Enhance Mobility Innovation with Software-Based Solutions for Smart and Equitable Travel Demand Management
Zhen, Dongyang
Halimi, Zahra

Integration of Progression Maximization and Delay Minimization Controls for Commuting Arterials Accommodating Highly Unbalanced Directional Traffic Flows
Lin, Yi-Ting
Cheng, Yao
Chang, Gang-Len

Evaluating Safety Performance of Left-Turn Signal Phasing Treatments at the Roadway Level: A Case Study in Utah
Gong, Yaobang
Yang, Kaitai
Yang, Xianfeng

Partial Proportional Odds Model of Injury Severities on Roadway Class and Detailed Blood Toxicology
Adegboye, Adewumi
Kaushik, Kartik

UMD researchers presented more than 40 papers and posters at TRB 2024, covering a wide gamut of transportation engineering studies.

Back to the Future: New Strategies for Long-Term Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Strategies to Reduce Socioeconomic Inequality in Disaster Recovery
Niemeier, Deb

An Assessment of Winter Performance of Ultra-Thin Bonded Wearing Course and Recommendations for Improving Quality Assurance
Zhao, Yunpeng (Engineering & Software Consultants)
Goulias, Dimitrios

Predicting Performance in Quality Assurance of Asphalt Mixtures Under Balance Mix Design
Akhter, Anjuman (Schnabel Engineering)
Dimitrios Goulias

An Analysis of Drug Recognition Expert Evaluations and Comparisons with Police Issued Citations in Maryland, 2017–2021
Bhagat, Komal (University of Maryland, Baltimore)
Auman, Kimberly (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Kufera, Joseph (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Kaushik, Kartik,

Priorities and Transparency in State Transportation Spending: Case Studies of Statewide Transportation Improvement Programs
Myles, Lee-Ellen
Kenny, Stephen
Perez, Benito (Transportation For America)

Agent-Based Modeling Suite for Transit Ridership Estimation: A Case Study for Maryland’s Purple Line
Cirillo, Cinzia
Huque, Md Mahmudul

Optimized Road Network Development with Comparison of Microsimulation and Traffic Assignment
Wu, Fei (Precision Systems)
Du, Jianhe (Virginia Polytechnic Institute)
Schonfeld, Paul
Rakha, Hesham (Virginia Polytechnic Institute)

An Equitable Signalized Arterial Origin-Destination Flow Estimation by a Fairness-Aware Artificial Intelligence
Gong, Yaobang
Wang, Qinzheng (Leidos)

How to Create a Composite Equity Indicator for Transportation Safety
Roumen Vesselinov, University of Maryland
Kaushik, Kartik
Kufera, Joseph (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Auman, Kimberly (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)
Bhagat, Komal (University of Maryland, Baltimore)

Exploring the Equity Impact: Analyzing the Relationship Between Railroad Safety and Sociodemographic Factors
Zahedian, Sara
Maharjan, Ateet
Gorman, Michael
Franz, Mark

Equity Analysis at the Project Level: An Exploratory Study
Halimi, Zahra
Taherkhani, Mohammad Safari
Cui, Qingbin

Evaluating Equitable Transit-Oriented Development via an Extended Node-Place-Vulnerability Model
Zhao, Yingrui
Hu, Songhua
Zhang, Ming (University of Texas, Austin)

Discrete Macroscopic Traffic Flow Model Considering Lane-Changing Behaviors in the Mixed Traffic Environment
Zhang, Yi
Yang, Kaitai
Lei, Yuanzheng
Gong, Yaobang
Yang, Xianfeng

Truck Trip and Long-Haul Truck Tour Identification Based on National-Level Truck Global Positioning System Data
Pan, Yixuan
Kabiri, Aliakbar
Darzi, Aref
Ashoori, Mohammad
Sun, Qianqian

Modeling Link-Level Road Traffic Resilience to Extreme Weather Events Using Crowdsourced Data
Hu, Songhua
Wang, Kailai (University of Houston)
Li, Lingyao (University of Michigan School of Information)
Zhao, Yingrui
He, Zhengbing (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Zhang, Yunpeng (University of Houston)

Planning Dynamic Wireless Charging Infrastructure for Battery Electric Bus Systems with the Joint Optimization of Charging Scheduling
Li, Wenlong (Beijing University of Technology)
He, Yi (Utah State University)
Hu, Songhua
He, Zhengbing He

Evaluating Probe-Based Traffic Volume Estimates: Insights from a Multi-Vendor, Multi-Product Validation in North Carolina
Vander Laan, Zachary
Young, Stanley (National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
Kabiri, Aliakbar

A Planning Model for Flexible Route Delivery Optimization of Farm Products: A Case Study in Central Appalachia
Li, Zheyu
Wang, Jason (Appalachian Regional Commission)
Schonfeld, Paul

Encounter Network and Its Application to Study Epidemic Spreading Through Public Transportation Network
Tahmasbi, Behnam
Roozkhosh, Farnoosh (University of Georgia)
Yao, Xiobai (University of Georgia)

Understanding Factors Influencing User Engagement in Incentive-Based Travel Demand Management Program
Hu, Songhua
Xiong, Chenfeng (Villanova University)
Ji, Ya
Wu, Xin
Liu, Kailun (Villanova University)
Schonfeld, Paul

Evaluation of the Equity of Societal Crash and Congestion Costs in Communities
Comeau, Daniel (HNTB Corporation)
Remache-Patino, Bryan (University of Massachusetts, Amherst)
Brennan, Thomas (College of New Jersey)
Pack, Michael
Xiong, Chenfeng (Villanova University)

Data Visualization and System Performance Graphics
Lattimer, Charles

The Effect of Electric Vehicle Home Charging on Commercial Charging Infrastructure Planning Under Different Market Penetration Rates
Tarafdar, Sayantan
Gong, Yaobang
Yang, Xianfeng

Tackling Electric Vehicle Adoption Challenges: Insights from Refueling Behavior Analysis
Mehditabrizi, Asal
Namadi, Saeed Saleh
Alberini, Anna
Cirillo, Cinzia


Published February 9, 2024