Award Date

12-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Committee Member

Robert Futrell

Second Committee Member

David Dickens

Third Committee Member

Barbara Brents

Fourth Committee Member

Bret Birdsong

Number of Pages

284

Abstract

This study examines the implementation of social goals through government action and the context and relations of agencies charged with demonstrating and enforcing equality in transit. Specifically, I explain complexities involved in the top-down federal mandate to demonstrate equal transit service for minority communities and low income residents. Institutional entrepreneurship by local government agencies influenced the legislation and regulation that they were charged to enforce. The local Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs), created to enable a local voice in major capital road projects, acquired new institutional capabilities as federal agencies tasked them with implementing new social goals. Engineers and planners, initially rivals, became allies to negotiate with federal agencies. National agencies mediated these complicated rivalries through a series of national conferences. New technical mandates required the creation of a new profession, that of transportation demand modeler, that in turn further increased institutional capacity. National and local legislation, administrative law, and litigation all played a role in creating cooperative alliances to improve Civil Rights and Environmental Justice compliance reporting by MPOs. All professions at all governmental level achieved a cooperative rapprochement through their mutual response to the continuing challenges. I propose new measurements of equality based on today's institutional capacities.

Keywords

Local transit--Government policy; Local transit--Planning; Local transit--Subsidies; Transportation--Subsidies Urban transportation policy--Planning

Disciplines

Public Policy | Social Policy | Social Welfare | Sociology | Transportation | Urban Studies | Urban Studies and Planning

Language

English