Distributive Justice and Equity in Transportation

Transport Reviews, 37(2), 170-191, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2016.1257660

32 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2016 Last revised: 27 Mar 2018

See all articles by Rafael H.M. Pereira

Rafael H.M. Pereira

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA); University of Oxford - Oxford University Transport Studies Unit

Tim Schwanen

University of Utrecht

David Banister

University of Oxford

Date Written: October 28, 2016

Abstract

Over the past decades, transport researchers and policymakers have devoted increasing attention to questions about justice and equity. Nonetheless, there is still little engagement with theories in political philosophy to frame what justice means in the context of transport policies. This paper reviews key theories of justice (utilitarianism, libertarianism, intuitionism, Rawls’ egalitarianism, and Capability Approaches), and critically evaluates the insights they generate when applied to transport. Based on a dialogue between Rawlsian and Capability Approaches, we propose that distributive justice concerns over transport disadvantage and social exclusion should focus primarily on accessibility as a human capability. This means that, in policy evaluation, a detailed analysis of distributional effects of transport policies should consider minimum standards of accessibility to key destinations and the extent of which these policies respect individuals’ rights and prioritize disadvantaged groups, reduce inequalities of opportunities and mitigate transport externalities. A full account of justice in transportation requires a more complete understanding of accessibility than traditional approaches have been able to deliver to date.

Keywords: Accessibility, Equity, Justice, Distributive Justice, Social exclusion, Transport Poverty, Ethics, Capability Approach, Rawls

Suggested Citation

Pereira, Rafael H.M. and Schwanen, Tim and Banister, David, Distributive Justice and Equity in Transportation (October 28, 2016). Transport Reviews, 37(2), 170-191, 2016, DOI: 10.1080/01441647.2016.1257660, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2863827

Rafael H.M. Pereira (Contact Author)

Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) ( email )

Av. Pres. Antonio Carlos , 51 - 17 andar
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 20020-010
Brazil

University of Oxford - Oxford University Transport Studies Unit ( email )

School of Geography and the Environment
South Parks Road
Oxford, OX1 3QY
United Kingdom

Tim Schwanen

University of Utrecht

Vredenburg 138
NL-3508 TC Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

David Banister

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

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