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Special Issue "Fairness in Transport"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Ronald McQuaid
E-Mail Website
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 2000 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.

Keywords

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

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Concept of Fairness in Relation to Women Transport Users
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2919; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052919 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1340
Abstract
This paper discusses the concept of ‘fairness’ in transport, specifically regarding women using public transport, future autonomous vehicle taxis or bicycle sharing. Women generally have varying and complex mobility patterns compared to men and suffer disproportionate fairness issues when using transport. Different concepts [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the concept of ‘fairness’ in transport, specifically regarding women using public transport, future autonomous vehicle taxis or bicycle sharing. Women generally have varying and complex mobility patterns compared to men and suffer disproportionate fairness issues when using transport. Different concepts of fairness are explored, including: equality of opportunity, equity and justice (including procedural, social and distributional justice). While each of these concepts has different implications for women using transport, it is also recognized that fairness principles should apply to all people (regardless of sex, gender or other characteristics). Analysis of the different forms of mobility, as represented by public transport, autonomous vehicles and bicycle sharing, illustrate a variety of specific fairness issues. Factors such as safety and security, cost, physical design of infrastructure and vehicles, and characteristics such as low-income or childcare responsibilities arise in each case. The three cases also indicate a range of both horizonal fairness factors (similar people being treated similarly) and vertical fairness factors (such as more disadvantaged people receiving greater support). Further research is required into setting frameworks for a more comprehensive inclusion of, and balance between, different concepts of fairness and their interactions in both transport policy and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairness in Transport)
Article
Geographical Modelling of Transit Deserts in Cape Town
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020997 - 19 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 986
Abstract
The World Bank calculated South Africa’s 2018 Gini Coefficient to be 0.63, which made it the world’s most unequal country. Such inequality is perpetuated by land-use patterns still influenced by the apartheid past. The resulting urban form necessitates long travel distances, often relying [...] Read more.
The World Bank calculated South Africa’s 2018 Gini Coefficient to be 0.63, which made it the world’s most unequal country. Such inequality is perpetuated by land-use patterns still influenced by the apartheid past. The resulting urban form necessitates long travel distances, often relying on fragmented transit modes, each with their own geographical and temporal constraints. This study applies work on transit deserts in cities in the global north to Cape Town, aiming to assess the methodological transferability to the global south, and generating case study results. In the Cape Town case, the study first analyses transit deserts based on formal public transport supply (bus rapid transit, traditional bus and train), identifying that ten out of 18 traffic analysis zones were classified as transit gaps (some unserved demand), while three of these zones qualified as transit deserts (significant undersupply). Like its U.S. counterparts, excess supply is found near Cape Town’s city centre. In Cape Town, the transit gaps/deserts are partly filled by unscheduled minibus-taxis. When this informal public transport service is added, the transit deserts disappear; however, half of the transport analysis zones still qualify as having transit gaps. It is, therefore, concluded that informal public transit in Cape Town reduces the transit gap, but does not eliminate it. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairness in Transport)
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Article
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
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1641
Abstract
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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Concept Paper
Fairness in Transport Policy: A New Approach to Applying Distributive Justice Theories
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10102; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310102 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1512
Abstract
The transport system influences everyone’s wellbeing on a daily basis. These impacts are both positive and negative and are borne directly and indirectly at a range of spatial and temporal scales and across different groups in society. Furthermore, they are often distributed unfairly [...] Read more.
The transport system influences everyone’s wellbeing on a daily basis. These impacts are both positive and negative and are borne directly and indirectly at a range of spatial and temporal scales and across different groups in society. Furthermore, they are often distributed unfairly and the people who are least able to use transport networks frequently bear the greatest costs. People also have various transport needs and these needs change throughout their lives. Due to these complexities, there is no straightforward answer as to how we should provide transport fairly. Policies and actions to decarbonise the transport system are urgently needed, but their equity effects are also important. We give a brief overview of distributive justice and equity in transport literature. We then develop a conceptual framework of distributive justice and a set of four principles to guide the application of the framework to transport policy. We then apply these to recent transport policies in Aotearoa/New Zealand, a country that shares common features with most highly motorised countries. We apply the Capabilities Approach to transport policy in a novel way that conceptualises transport policy as a social conversion factor which influences people’s ability to convert resources and opportunities into the things (‘beings and doings’) that they have reason to value. The consideration of transport policy as a conversion factor, rather than focusing on a specific capability, emphasises the role of transport policy as a promoter of a wide range of capabilities and highlights the inequitable distribution of positive and negative effects on people’s health and wellbeing. It also illuminates issues of power structures and procedural fairness in transport policy that are otherwise not covered by distributive justice approaches. Taking a broader view of distributive justice theory in transport provides a clearer picture of the impacts of transport on wellbeing and provides theory-based guidance on the actions to improve transport justice that can be readily integrated into existing policy institutions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fairness in Transport)
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