Transport Inequality in Today’s Cities at the Intersection of Mobility and Inequality


Trafik ve Ulaşım Araştırmaları Dergisi (Online), vol.6, no.1, pp.17-43, 2023 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier


One aspect of social inequality in today’s cities concerns transport inequality. This simply refers to the transport advantages of the rich compared to the poor (Gebresselassie & Sanchez, 2019). The transport inequality intersects with other forms of marginalization as well, based on gender, age, disability, and ethnicity. Yet for the mobile or kinetic elite (Andreotti, Le Gallès, & Moreno-Fuentes, 2013), all places and transport means are readily available. Furthermore, transport-related mega-projects accentuate the existing social inequalities of the neoliberal city. However, urban policy makers have begun to realize the importance of transport inequality and develop inclusive policies, such as “accessibility planning” in the UK (Lucas, 2012). Urban citizens are also forming mobility justice movements to protest against the increasing transport costs, as in Latin America (Díaz Pabón & Palacio Ludeña, 2021) and France. The encompassing mobility research is largely connected to social and environmental sustainability ideals. Hence, this paper will study the relationship between mobility and inequality through a thematic analysis of approximately 100 publications that were selected with certain keywords from the results of Web of Science searches, a few books, institutional reports and other sources. This literature review shows that transport inequalities are a reflection of the capitalist system and one of the main sources of social conflict in contemporary societies. Against the solution suggestions that range from rehabilitating the system to revolution as a process in the related literature, formation of place-based solutions that take into consideration both universal and local conditions is suggested in this study.