Spatial equity of excess commuting by transit in Seoul

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - tram/light rail, ridership - commuting, policy - equity, policy - sustainable, technology - geographic information systems, technology - passenger information


Excess commuting, spatial equity, horizontal equity, transport big data, Gini coefficient, area-based mapping, Seoul


Excess commuting refers to wasteful journey-to-work travel, resulting from the non-optimal spatial configuration of residences and workplaces. Traditionally, this concept has been employed to analyse the efficiency of the urban structure. This paper, however, examines the spatial equity of excess commuting, which is an essential component of a sustainable urban transport system. The Gini coefficient and GIS mapping are used to measure this spatial equity, supported by data from Seoul’s Tmoney transit card system. Results show the vulnerable regions in terms of horizontal equity of excess commuting in Seoul. Transit supply and jobs-housing balance are identified as the core factors affecting excess commuting in relation to spatial disparities. However, an evaluation of Seoul’s ambitious plan of light-rail construction is considered to be not very helpful in mitigating the current spatial inequality of excess commuting in the city.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.