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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN SYSTEM
Doing Business As Name:University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
PD/PI:
  • Lingqian Hu
  • (414) 229-5887
  • hul@uwm.edu
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • Jie Yu
  • Robert J Schneider
  • Kevin J Muhs
Award Date:09/16/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 1,000,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 1,000,000
  • FY 2021=$1,000,000
Start Date:10/01/2021
End Date:09/30/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:SCC-CIVIC-FA Track A: User-Centered Mobility Solutions (UCMS): A New Vision to Connect Jobs and the Labor Force
Federal Award ID Number:2133337
DUNS ID:627906399
Parent DUNS ID:041188822
Program:S&CC: Smart & Connected Commun
Program Officer:
  • Yueyue Fan
  • (703) 292-4453
  • yfan@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:P O BOX 340
City:Milwaukee
State:WI
ZIP:53201-0340
County:Milwaukee
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:04

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Street:P O BOX 340
City:Milwaukee
State:WI
ZIP:53201-0340
County:Milwaukee
Country:US
Cong. District:04

Abstract at Time of Award

This NSF CIVIC grant will test whether new user-centered transportation service models can overcome institutional, multi-jurisdictional coordination barriers and solve persistent spatial mismatches that can deter marginalized population groups from accessing jobs. The case study area is the Milwaukee region, which lacks cross-jurisdictional transportation services that efficiently connect workers living in marginalized inner-city neighborhoods with available jobs in suburban counties. Focusing on two groups of core users—labor force participants and employers—this study will implement and evaluate two pilot service models designed to meet the needs of these respective user groups. Specifically, the research will examine whether the new service models driven by user needs can overcome institutional barriers and gain broad support to solve the regional spatial mismatch problem, investigate how the service models can narrow the gap between advancements in mobility technologies and technology adoption among marginalized communities, and compare how effectively the labor force-centered and employer-centered service models can achieve other economic, environmental, and social goals. The research activities will be carried out by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission in conjunction with workforce development organizations, business organizations, transit agencies, and local governments. This partnership will facilitate an exchange of research findings and civic dialogues, foster technology-community connections, and create new opportunities for technical and scientific discovery. Research activities will enrich student research experiences and community-based learning. Both the labor force-centered and employer-centered service models will use on-demand microtransit to serve marginalized populations by connecting the low-income Milwaukee residents with employment centers in a neighboring suburban county. However, the two models will differ in terms of the service area and travel cost, reflecting core users’ respective tradeoffs between their desired level of transportation services and their willingness to pay. The research will answer two questions: 1) How well does the user-centered approach overcome multi-jurisdictional coordination barriers and solve regional-level spatial mismatch? 2) To what degree do the labor force-centered and employer-centered mobility services achieve a diverse set of goals? A mixed-method analysis framework will be applied that includes interviews, surveys, data fusion, big data analysis, spatial statistics, and economic analysis to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the two service models. Measurable outcomes include service efficiency, financial feasibility, environmental sustainability, economic benefits, equity implications, and participant experience. This project is part of the CIVIC Innovation Challenge which is a collaboration of NSF, Department of Energy Vehicle Technology Office, Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Federal Emergency Management Agency. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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