How Uneven is the Urban Mobility Playing Field? Inequalities among Socioeconomic Groups in Santiago De Chile

A central issue in urban inequity has to do with distributive justice in the costs and benefits associated with urban transport, and whether certain population groups are systematically disadvantaged about mobility, accessibility, affordability, and externalities, the preponderant factors in transport poverty. This article proposes a methodology for analyzing how investment in transport infrastructure and non-housing construction, mobility levels (trip distances, times, and speeds) and the associated trip costs (monetary, accidents, pollution, and energy consumption) are distributed across the different socioeconomic quintiles of a city. The methodology was applied to the real-world case of Santiago de Chile. The results showed that compared with the lowest income quintile, people in the highest income quintile made 1.2 times more trips at an average speed 1.6 times higher. In relation to costs, the richest quintile generated 6.7 times as much pollution and used 7 times as much energy but consumed a significantly lower share of their income (10% vs. 45%). In addition, the top quintile was the beneficiary of 2.5 times more investment in both transport infrastructure and new construction space for commercial activities and services over the period considered. Finally, private car use in the top quintile was 5.3 times greater. This transport mode accounts for 6.8 times more of the accident rate than public transport, bicycles, or walking combined. This clearly inequitable scenario points to the needs for progressive policies that target lower income groups and promote a more rational use of cars in view of their negative impacts on the city.

  • Record URL:
  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation (ADD50) peer-reviewed this paper (19-01438). © National Academy of Sciences: Transportation Research Board 2019.
  • Authors:
    • Iglesias, Vicente
    • Giraldez, Francisca
    • Tiznado-Aitken, Ignacio
    • Muñoz, Juan Carlos
  • Publication Date: 2019-11


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01712260
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 19-01438
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Apr 23 2019 11:23AM