Inequity in the Provision of Public Bus Service for Socially Disadvantaged Groups

Ali Soltani, Yousef Esmaeili Ivaki


Neo-classical economic doctrine dominating governmental policies shows its impact on recent transport policies, causing these policies; tend to base on demand and efficiency criteria instead of equity concerns. Public transit operating for remote areas is less cost-effective eventually leading to have a low level of service quality. In metropolitan areas of developing countries, a large part of socially disadvantaged and vulnerable groups live in outer suburban locations not in the inner-city. Transit equity evaluation is required by in order to consider the requirements of more vulnerable populations, as well as to foster equal benefits. The evaluation approach is based on highlighting the spatial distribution and clustering patterns of bus network and service as well as some disadvantaged social groups including unemployed, migrated, less educated, elderly, young, and disabled. The hypothesis is that vulnerable groups and economically disadvantaged communities receive a less than equal share of public bus services. The findings show that poor accessibility is associated both with low-income neighborhoods and with neighborhoods with disproportionately high populations of migrated, less-educated, unemployed and low-income groups. Modifications need to make in transport planning and policy system to achieve a better distribution of public transport services in hope of increasing level of service for minority groups and economically disadvantaged communities.

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Journal of Sustainable Development   ISSN 1913-9063 (Print)   ISSN 1913-9071 (Online) Email:

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