Project Name: Our Mobility, A Mixed Methods Research Protocol for Studying Daily Mobility
Grantee: Jessica Murray
Funding Cycle: 2016-2017
Project Status: Ongoing
White Paper: Our Mobility-White Paper
Our Mobility is a research project geared towards learning about transportation disadvantage: how disability, income, race, gender, and age can limit someone’s ability to transport themselves and participate in activities of daily life. Two mobile apps, Google Maps Timeline and PACO (Personal Analytics Companion) will be used to record quantitative and qualitative differences in mobility for people living in the New York metropolitan area. Detailed reports of personal travel data will be offered as an incentive for participation and are designed to attract citizen scientists and self-measurement enthusiasts. This strategy is beneficial to both individuals and the project because participants may engage in the research more often and provide high quality data in order to receive robust and accurate monthly reports. The first phase is a pilot study which invites any interested New York area resident over the age of 18 with a smart phone and computer to participate. There are three primary goals of the pilot study: to establish best practices for a full-scale study; to get feedback from users on the process of participating including technical challenges, level of participation, and what value (if any) their personal reports provided; and to explore the preliminary data for hypothesis creation. Eligible participants will be asked to complete a demographic survey before installing the two apps and joining the study. Twenty participants who express interest in participating in a virtual focus group will be randomly selected and compensated for their participation and for answering surveys and uploading location data to the study website before and after the call. Individuals with disabilities will be oversampled for the focus groups in order to gain usability insights. Future phases of the project will provide more information to participants about their mobility in relation to others and contribute to the literature on mobility research and transportation disadvantage.