Caltrans Transportation Equity Index (EQI)


As stated in the Caltrans Equity Statement, the California Department of Transportation acknowledges that communities of color and under-served communities experienced fewer benefits and a greater share of negative impacts associated with our state's transportation system. Some of these disparities reflect a history of transportation decision-making, policy, processes, planning, design, and construction that "quite literally put-up barriers, divided communities, and amplified racial inequities, particularly in our Black and Brown neighborhoods." Many tools exist to evaluate various factors that potentially burden communities, but these tools typically consider a wide range of factors and aren’t specifically focused on transportation.


Faced with the need to better define equity problems and solutions, Caltrans began developing the EQI in 2020. The Department has held numerous public and internal discussions covering indicators, thresholds, geographies, and other issues related to the tool. The beta version is still under development and subject to additional revisions, but the conversation is turning from the construction of the tool to its deployment. The Department plans to release the 1.0 version of the tool in mid-2023 and to focus on use cases through the rest of the year.