Tierra Bills stands at a podium wearing a white top and green blazer

Bills on Leveraging Data for Transportation Equity

Assistant Professor of Public Policy Tierra Bills discussed her work on transportation demand, modeling and equity in an interview with SiliconAngle during a recent Women in Data Science event. Bills leverages data to understand how transportation decisions impact distinctive groups. New data analysis tools are key to understanding transportation equity and prioritizing the needs of vulnerable communities who often get left out of the conversation, she said. “Ignoring the conditions of vulnerable communities can lead to devastating outcomes,” she said, noting that some travel models might not paint a true picture due to issues of bias and underrepresentation. Bills, who has a joint appointment in the department of civil and environmental engineering, called for using new computational tools to pinpoint mobility constraints that people have. “Behavior change is tough, but it’s necessary,” she said. “It’s critical, especially if you’re going to improve conditions for vulnerable communities.”

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