Uneven mobilities, uneven opportunities: Social distribution of public transport accessibility to jobs and education in Montevideo


Diego Hernandez

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, policy - equity, policy - social exclusion, land use - impacts


Latin America, Public transport, Accessibility, Contestation


Even though mobility is a requirement for participation in “modern life”, the truth is that mobility is unevenly distributed and it constitutes a field of contestation and dispute among social classes. Mobility does not derive from individual decisions or free choices. On the contrary, it is the result of the interaction between individual attributes and social structure. To grasp this interaction, it is necessary to go well beyond observed mobility. This paper explores the unequal access to urban opportunities among different social classes in Montevideo. It does so by computing potential public transport accessibility to two types of crucial opportunities: jobs and education. The paper findings show an unequal distribution of potential mobility, especially for jobs and upper level public education. Primary public schools are an exception, revealing the spatial footprint of the mature Uruguayan social protection network at this level. This paper's approach allows to identify and describe various fields of contestation such as urban form, transit network, the state provision of public goods (in the case of education), through examining the effects of uneven mobility on social goods access and, as a result, on social equity.


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


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