BMC staff completed an assessment that describes the data and the analyses undertaken to identify the region’s vulnerable people and groups known as the Vulnerable Population Index. It also includes maps showing concentrations of vulnerable groups. The following seven populations were determined to be vulnerable – based on an understanding of both federal requirements and regional demographics:
- Non-Hispanic, Non-White
- Limited English Proficiency (LEP)
Considering the Needs of Underserved Communities
Federal law and regulations require the BRTB to consult with the public when conducting transportation planning. Part of this process involves “seeking out and considering the needs of those traditionally underserved by existing transportation systems, such as low-income and minority households, who may face challenges accessing employment and other services” [23 Code of Federal Regulations, §450.316(a) (1)(vii)]. This is an important part of the BRTB’s public outreach efforts. These efforts depend on data regarding underserved populations to let policy makers know where and how to engage people most effectively.
Helping Disadvantaged People Get Where They Need to Go
Another important part of these analyses is to determine how transportation facilities can better serve the travel needs of vulnerable groups, including people who either don’t or can’t drive. We ask important questions like:
- Do transportation facilities help people get where they need to go—jobs, school, medical care, shopping?
- Which investments could improve the ability of disadvantaged people to reach specific destinations and opportunities?