The UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies and the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies launched a joint initiative — called Access to Opportunities — to examine how transportation connects people to the social and economic opportunities they need to thrive. This project draws in a wide range of UCLA scholars working across fields including public health, urban planning, social welfare, Chicano studies, and many more.

The phrase “access to opportunity” refers to the role of transportation in ensuring people have access to essential destinations, such as in jobs, healthcare, and education. However, transportation is not equitably distributed, meaning that certain groups of people face barriers in accessing these essential needs, and thus face poorer life outcomes. This research project seeks to increase the understanding of this concept: why it matters, what determinants shape it, and how it relates to other fields. Most importantly, this initiative aims to find a path forward, and identify how we can increase access for the most underserved groups.

For more information about the initiative, read the primer and watch the video below.