Special Issue "Fairness in Transport"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 December 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Ronald McQuaid
Guest Editor
Management, Work and Organisation Division, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, UK
Interests: transport; employment; development; public–private partnership; ethics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fairness in transport is often an important desired outcome of transport systems and developments (in public transport, self-driving cars, vehicle sharing and employment in transport, etc.). However, both the concept and how to achieve it are poorly understood. This Special Issue seeks high-quality theoretical, policy, and empirical papers that will progress our understanding of fairness and how to move towards fairer, sustainable transport systems. Papers may be related to any aspect of fairness in transport, and those related to gender are particularly welcomed.

Fairness affects different groups and subgroups and plays out differently in various circumstances and types of transport. For instance, in many countries, women—and some men—with childcare responsibilities have systematically shorter commuting times than other groups, due partly to balancing time-constrained multiple journies related to childcare, household responsibilities, and employment. This affects job opportunities and choices, access to services, etc. It has been suggested that the planning and delivery of transport services usually do not adequately take these into account. Another issue is that traditionally motor vehicles have been modelled on the general physicality of an ‘average’ man, which creates problems in terms of seating, posture, and the seatbelt safety for most women as reflected in safety and other statistics. Similarly self-driving cars, or autonomous vehicles, may use algorithms based on databases which reflect past biases in car use rather than fairness across the potential population of users. Further, in terms of jobs, women account for less than a quarter of the work force in the transport sector in Europe, affecting and reflecting employment equality and diversity. Each of these, and many other issues affect the fairness of transport.

The Special Issue welcomes conceptual and empirical papers that deal with any aspect of fairness in transport, including:

  • How do concepts of ‘equality of opportunities’ and ‘equality of outcomes’ lead to different transport policies?
  • How do transport systems deal with procedural fairness (an example being balancing cheaper fares for some groups, such as children, but not others)?
  • Notions of fairness are often linked to concepts of justice, equity, human rights and ethics, so how can these be better applied to transport and what wider justice issues should be considered when developing fairer transport systems?
  • How do issues of fairness influence different modes and types of transport (e.g., public transport, autonomous vehicles, bicycle or car sharing), or employment in transport?
  • Which groups in society are particularly affected by issues of fairness in transport?
  • What policies are needed to help achieve greater fairness in transport and for whom?

Prof. Ronald McQuaid
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Fairness in transport
  • Justice
  • Employment
  • Gender
  • Public transport
  • Autonomous vehicles

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle
Methodology for Gender Analysis in Transport: Factors with Influence in Women’s Inclusion as Professionals and Users of Transport Infrastructures
Sustainability 2020, 12(9), 3656; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093656 - 01 May 2020
This work analyzes gendered processes by a methodology based on clustering factors with influence in the decision-making process of women as users or employees of the transport system. Considering gender as a social construction which changes over time and space, this study is [...] Read more.
This work analyzes gendered processes by a methodology based on clustering factors with influence in the decision-making process of women as users or employees of the transport system. Considering gender as a social construction which changes over time and space, this study is based on the concept of a woman as a person who adopts this role in society. This paper performs a deep analysis of those factors women consider as needs and barriers to use or work in the transport system in four scenarios: railway public transport infrastructures, automated vehicles, bicycle sharing, and jobholders. A literature review and focus group discussions were performed under the consideration that the definition of woman includes the addition of several personal characteristics (age, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, and culture). The data analysis allowed the identification of fairness characteristics (FCs) that affect the interaction of women with the transport system for each scenario. A methodology for clustering the fairness characteristics identified the main areas of action to improve the inclusion of women within each use case. Further studies will be focused on the quantification and prioritization of the FCs through mathematical methods and the suggestion of inclusive measures by an interdisciplinary panel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairness in Transport)
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