Friday Transportation Seminar: Evaluation of a Transportation Incentive Program for Affordable Housing Residents

Friday, April 16, 2021, 11:30am to 12:30pm PDT
Roshin Kurian, PBOT; Huijun Tan, Nathan McNeil and John MacArthur, Portland State University
PDH: 1 | AICP: 1

We are committed to making decisions that promote the success and well-being of our campus community. Until further notice, all live events hosted by TREC will be online onlyFriday Transportation Seminars at Portland State University have been a tradition since 2000. You can join us online at 11:30 AM.



This seminar presents the results from the Transportation Wallet for Residents of Affordable Housing (TWRAH) pilot program launched by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). The program provided a set of transportation incentives for low-income participants including a $308 pre-paid visa card which could be applied to public transit or other transportation services, a free bike share membership, and access to discounted rates on several services. The researchers conducted a survey with the program’s participants to understand how they used the Transportation Wallet and how the program helped them use different modes to get around. The main findings include:

  1. The financial support of this program encouraged some participants to use new mobility services (including Uber/Lyft, bike share, and e-scooter) that they had never used before;
  2. The program increased access for participants, helping them make more trips and, for some, get to places they otherwise could not have gone; and,
  3. Transportation Fairs, where participants could learn about services and talk to providers, promoted both mode sign-up and mode usage, particularly for new mobility and a reduced fare transit program.

This presentation will provide insights into the implementation and effectiveness of a transportation financial incentive program for low-income populations.


  • Understand background and the elements of the Transportation Wallet for Residents of Affordable Housing (TWRAH) pilot program;
  • Learn how the program was implemented and how the residents used the Wallet;
  • Understand how a program like the Wallet could be implemented to provide incentives and financial benefits to low-income populations thru a transportation demand management program.


Huijun Tan, Portland State University

Huijun Tan is a PhD student in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. With a masters degree in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis, her research now primarily focuses on transportation equity research and gentrification impacts on accessibility among marginalized populations and communities. She is dedicated to investigating how accessibility is associated with neighborhood change in low-income areas in order to provide policy implications for transportation planning and land use planning. Her research also looks forward to identifying mechanisms of preventing or mitigating the adverse impacts (derived from transportation investment) on communities, especially for minorities and low- income neighborhoods.

Roshin Kurian, Transportation Demand Management Specialist, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)

Roshin Kurian is a Transportation Demand Specialist at the Portland Bureau of Transportation, bringing expertise in both the transportation and public health fields, with a deep commitment to transportation justice. Roshin’s portfolio includes the development and management of many active transportation equity programs. Roshin manages Adaptive BIKETOWN, BIKETOWN for All, and the Transportation Wallet pilot for residents of affordable housing amongst her TDM efforts. She works to amplify community voices in government and advocates for a safe, accessible, affordable and healthy transportation system. In her free time, you will find her exploring Portland by bike and foot, attempting to appreciate IPAs, planning bike gang adventures, and traveling to new cities to evaluate their bike and scooter shares.

Nathan McNeil, Portland State University

Nathan McNeil is a Research Associate at Portland State University's Center for Urban Studies. He conducts research on impacts of active transportation and transit equity, on new bicycle infrastructure and programs on travel behavior and attitudes towards cycling, on shared-use mobility programs including carsharing and bike-share, and on the connection between land-use and transportation. He was Co-Principal Investigator on recent national studies of bike share equity (Breaking Barrier to Bike Share and National Scan of Bike Share Equity Programs) and of protected bike lane implementations (Lessons from the Green Lanes). Nathan received a master of urban and regional planning from Portland State University (PSU) and studied history at Columbia University as an undergraduate. Prior to PSU, Nathan worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City as a performance auditor where he evaluated capital programs and contractors.

John MacArthur, Portland State University

Mr. John MacArthur is the Sustainable Transportation Program Manager at TREC at Portland State University. He is active in research related to sustainable and equitable transportation, particularly in the areas of emerging technologies, e-bikes, bike share, transit, and the relationship between transportation and public health. Mr. MacArthur is the Section Chair for Transportation Research Board’s AME00 Transportation and Society and a member of Innovative Public Transportation Services and Technologies (AP020). He received his BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and a MS in Environmental Health Sciences from the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan.


This 60-minute seminar is eligible for 1 hour of professional development credit for AICP (see our provider summary). We provide an electronic attendance certificate for other types of certification maintenance.


Photo by Cait McCusker

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The Transportation Research and Education Center (TREC) at Portland State University is home to the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC), the Initiative for Bicycle and Pedestrian Innovation (IBPI), and other transportation programs. TREC produces research and tools for transportation decision makers, develops K-12 curriculum to expand the diversity and capacity of the workforce, and engages students and professionals through education.