THREE ESSAYS IN PROGRAM EVALUATION: THE CASE OF ATLANTA INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROGRAM
The Atlanta Inspection and Maintenance program ultimately aims to reduce on-road vehicular emission, a major source of air pollution. The program enforces eligible vehicles to be inspected and repaired, if necessary, before the annual registration renewal. However, various factors can influence the program implementation with respect to the motorists, inspectors, and testing technology. This research explores some of these factors by using empirical data from the Continuous Atlanta Fleet Evaluation project, the inspection transaction records, the Atlanta Household Travel Survey, and the U.S. Census Bureau. The study discusses policy implications of findings from the three essays and offers related recommendations.
The first essay examines whether the higher income of a vehicle owner decreases the odds of the vehicle failing the first inspection. Findings show that vehicles owned by low-income households are more likely to fail the first inspection of the annual test cycle. However, after controlling for the vehicle characteristics, the odds of failing the first inspection are similar across households. This suggests that the maintenance behaviors are approximately the same for high- and low-income households.
The second essay explains the motorists decisions in selecting their inspection stations using a random utility model. The study finds that motorists are likely to choose the inspection stations that are located near their houses, charge lower fees, and can serve a large number of customers. Motorists are less likely to choose the stations with a relatively high failure ratio especially in an area of low station density. Moreover, motorists do not travel an extra mile to the stations with lower failure ratio. Understanding choices of vehicle owners can shed some light on the performance of inspection stations.
The third essay investigates the validity and reliability of the on-board diagnostic generation II (OBD II) test, a new testing technology required for 1966 and newer model year vehicles. The study compares the inspection results with the observed on-road emission using the remote sensing device (RSD) of the same vehicles. This research finds that the agreement between the RSD measurement and the OBD II test is lower for the relatively older or higher use vehicle fleets
Advisor:NOONAN, DOUGLAS; COZZENS, SUSAN; CASTILLO, MARCO; RODGERS, MICHAEL; CHANG, MICHAEL
School:Georgia Institute of Technology
School Location:USA - Georgia
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:06/17/2009