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Justice and Equity in Transportation and Urbanism

Justice and equity manifests in many different ways in transportation and urbanism. This guide presents a number of resources to help you engage with the work necessary to make these systems just.

Transit, Justice and Equity

Readings on Transit, Justice and Equity

Boarnet, M. G., Giuliano, G., Hou, Y., & Shin, E. J. (2017). First/last mile transit access as an equity planning issue. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 103, 296–310. 


Dugger, C. W. (2010, February 21). A Bus System Reopens Rifts in South Africa. The New York Times.


Garrett, M., & Taylor, B. (1999). Reconsidering Social Equity in Public Transit. Berkeley Planning Journal, 13(1).


Giuliano, G. (2011). Transportation Policy: Public Transit, Settlement Patterns, and Equity in the United States. In N. Brooks, K. Donaghy, & G.-J. Knapp (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Urban Economics and Planning. Oxford University Press.


Glaeser, E. L., Kahn, M. E., & Rappaport, J. (2008). Why Do the Poor Live in Cities? The Role of Public Transportation. Journal of Urban Economics, 63(1), 1–24.


Grengs, J. (2005). The abandoned social goals of public transit in the neoliberal city of the USA. City, 9(1), 51–66.


Grengs, J. (2002). Community-Based Planning as a Source of Political Change: The Transit Equity Movement of Los Angeles’ Bus Riders Union. Journal of the American Planning Association, 68(2), 165–178.


Karner, A., & Golub, A. (2015). Comparison of Two Common Approaches to Public Transit Service Equity Evaluation. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, 2531, 170–179.


Karner, A., & Duckworth, R. (2019). ‘Pray for transit’: Seeking transportation justice in metropolitan Atlanta. Urban Studies, 56(9), 1882–1900.


Loh, P. (2007). T Riders’ Union: A Tale of Two Campaigns in Boston. Reimagine!


Lopez, R. (2005). Racial Segregation and Transportation Justice in an Urban Community: The Case of the Boston T Riders Union. Boston University School of Public Health.


Lowe, K. (2014). Bypassing Equity? Transit Investment and Regional Transportation Planning. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 34(1), 30–44.


Lowe, K., & Grengs, J. (2018). Private Donations for Public Transit: The Equity Implications of Detroit’s Public–Private Streetcar. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 0739456X18761237.


Maciag, M. (2014, February 25). Public Transportation’s Demographic Divide. Governing.


Mann, E. (2004). Los Angeles Bus Riders Derail the MTA. In R. D. Bullard, G. S. Johnson, & A. O. Torres (Eds.), Highway Robbery (Cambridge, MA; pp. 33–48). South End Press.

Wexler, H., & Demetrakas, J. (1999). Bus Riders Union. 


Peñalosa, E. (2013, September). Why buses represent democracy in action. TEDCity 2.0. (BIPOC author)


Sanchez, T. W. (2008). Poverty, Policy, and Public Transportation. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 42(5), 833–841.


Sanchez, T. W., Shen, Q., & Peng, Z.-R. (2004). Transit Mobility, Jobs Access and Low-income Labour Participation in US Metropolitan Areas. Urban Studies, 41(7), 1313–1331.


Taylor, B. D., & Morris, E. A. (2015). Public transportation objectives and rider demographics: Are transit’s priorities poor public policy? Transportation, 42(2), 347–367. 


Thomas, J. (2017). Buses, But Not Spaces For All: Histories of Mass Resistance & Student Power on Public Transportation in Mexico & The United States. Scripps Senior Theses.


Wei, R., Liu, X., Mu, Y., Wang, L., Golub, A., & Farber, S. (2017). Evaluating public transit services for operational efficiency and access equity. Journal of Transport Geography, 65, 70–79. (BIPOC author)


Yan, J. (2013). Rousing the Sleeping Giant: Administrative Enforcement of Title VI and New Routes to Equity in Transit Planning. California Law Review, 101(4), 1131. (BIPOC author)