Investigating links between transport disadvantage, social exclusion and well-being in Melbourne – Updated results

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

policy - social exclusion, mode - car, ridership - disadvantage, policy - equity, place - australasia


Social exclusion, Transport disadvantage, Well being, Transport poverty, Time poverty, Value of time


This paper updates results of an international study aimed at quantifying the links between transport disadvantage (TD), social exclusion (SE) and well-being (WB) in Melbourne, Australia. The study extends knowledge associated with SE and transport by quantify social and behavioural implications of lack of public and private transport and the nature of the social WB benefits associated with improving services. Study aims and methodology are outlined. Recent findings covered relate to car ownership on the urban fringe, patterns of transport disadvantage, the analysis of time poverty related to transport disadvantage, measuring the economic value of additional mobility and use of a Structural Equation Model (SEM) to relate WB and SE to TD and a series of explanatory factors. Overall results suggest that those without a car on the urban fringe adjust well with their circumstances by living close to activity centres. They demonstrate sustainable choices, trading off budgets and home location to balance mobility and accessibility. Poorer households with high car ownership value mobility and cheaper more remote fringe dwellings but demonstrate numerous strategies to reduce high car costs which are acknowledged as a significant burden. Analysis identifies 4 key types of transport disadvantage including a ‘vulnerable/impaired’ group which should be of much greater concern for targeted policy than others due to poor scoring on SE and WB scales. The economic value of new mobility is also explored with results suggesting $AUD 20 per average new trip which is four times larger than conventional values for generated travel. Analysis has also suggested that transport disadvantage can relate to socially advantaged as well as socially disadvantaged groups through time poverty. This was found to be an important mitigating factor when relating TD to WB. A statistically reliable structural equation model is developed suggesting the SE-WB link is strong (−.87) with a modest link between TD-SE (.27). Areas for future research in the project are also summarised.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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