Income vs. Travel Time: Why do the Poorest and the Richest Travel Fastest in Northeastern Brazil?

The latest Census survey driven by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) shows that the income groups having the smallest commuting time in the city of Recife are those with the lowest and the highest incomes. This paper tries to find reasons behind that behavior for the groups with lowest income by using data from focus groups interviews in low-income areas of the city. Census data is from 2010, the interviews were held in the end of 2011. Results show that the poorest people in Recife cannot afford to use public transportation, restricting their activities to places that can be reached by foot or, in some cases, riding bicycles. Even though those people are not isolated in far suburbs, as it happens in many cities from many countries, the lack of access to public transport can also drive to isolation by creating restraints for participation in social-economic activities and, in this paper specifically, to work opportunities. Public transportation is usually seen as accessible to all: in economic theory it is even considered an example of inferior good; however, in this city, it may be a luxury item to a considerable part of the population.

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  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01639952
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 13 2017 3:08PM