Equity in transit: Evaluating the socio-spatial distribution of public transport services in Recife, Brazil

Authors: Genevieve Boisjoly*, McGill University, Bernardo Serra, Institute for Transport Policy & Development – Brazil , Gabriel T. Oliveira, Institute for Transport Policy & Development – Brazil , Ahmed El-Geneidy, McGill University
Topics: Transportation Geography, Urban Geography, South America
Keywords: Accessibility, Equity, Public transport, Global South
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Estherwood, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Increasing attention is given to public transport services in cities of the Global South as a tool to enhance social inclusion and individuals’ quality of life. Against this background, developing and evaluating indicators that quantify the distribution of public transport services from a social equity perspective is essential. The aim of the study is to assess the equity of public transport services in Recife, Brazil, with two commonly used indicators of public transport provision. The first indicator will measure proximity to infrastructure (access to bus, metro, and light rail stops), while the second will measure accessibility to jobs by public transport. These indicators will then be combined with socio-economic data to perform an equity analysis. While simple indicators of access to public transport stops are most commonly used given their ease of operationalization and communication, accessibility to jobs indicators are more representative of the benefits provided to individuals by the public transport network. Combining these two indicators in one study will provide a comprehensive view of the socio-spatial distribution of public transport services in Recife, Brazil and will shed light on the contribution of the different public transport modes (bus, metro, and light rail) to equity. This study is of relevance to planners and researchers wishing to better understand and evaluate public transport equity in the Global South.

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