Is Parking Cash-Out Worth it? Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness and Climate and Equity Benefits in the Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts

This research will evaluate the challenges, cost-effectiveness, and opportunities of implementing California's parking cash-out policy in the San Francisco Bay Area and South Coast Air Quality Management Districts (AQMD) in California. The objectives of this project are to

  • Identify the current status of the parking cash-out policy in California;
  • Investigate the equity dimensions and behavioral implications of this policy; and
  • Explore the cost-effectiveness in terms of climate benefits of implementing the parking cash-out policy.

The project team will

  •  Develop a model to estimate employee parking based on existing parking inventory;
  •  Conduct a statewide survey (using a crowd-sourced online survey platform: Amazon Mechanical Turk) with the goal of designing an experiment to evaluate the willingness and behaviors of utilizing the parking cash-out policy; and 
  •  Conduct a cost-effectiveness analysis to estimate the VMT and emission reduction of enforcing parking cash-out policy as compared to other potential sustainable transportation strategies in California.
Principal Investigator: 
Tianjun Lu
PI Contact Information:

Californnia State University, Dominguez Hills

June 2023 to May 2024
Impacts/Benefits of Implementation: 

The approaches and results of this project will inform parking cash-out policies by:

  •  Understanding the barriers and opportunities of adopting a parking cash-out policy.
  •  Identifying major factors influencing employees’ travel behaviors, workplace psychology, and equity perspectives.
  •  Estimating existing free parking subsidy receivers and parking cash-out potential.
  •  Evaluating the cost-effectiveness of a parking cash-out policy in terms of VMT and emission reductions in comparison to major alternative transportation policies.
  •  Demonstrating geospatial maps and information to improve science communication.
Project Number: 



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