Domestic workers’ commutes in Bogotá: Transportation, gender and social exclusion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, policy - social exclusion, policy - sustainable, ridership - commuting, planning - surveys


Domestic work, Public transportation, Gender, Social exclusion, Periphery


Transportation, gender and social exclusion have increasingly come together in scholarly pursuits and policy agendas in Latin America and the Caribbean. The recognition of the gender dimension of sustainable mobility has opened a space to consider the role of women, especially of those facing poverty and exclusion, in this global agenda. However, research on the link between precarious occupations, social exclusion, and gender, and the role that mobility plays both in enhancing and limiting development opportunities for highly vulnerable workers in the Global South is still limited. Based on Bogotá’s 2015 Mobility Survey, data from an application that matches domestic workers with employers (HogarU) and interviews conducted with domestic workers, this paper investigates the case of Bogotá, Colombia, to describe domestic workers’ daily commutes. More specifically, it focuses on the long duration of their trips, their patterns, their inevitable connection to public transportation, and the financial implications for their restricted family budget. Considering a legal provision that establishes a time-window for switching between public transportation vehicles, the paper also examines its effects on domestic workers’ commutes. By doing so, the paper aims to address the situation not only of the massive group of female domestic workers traversing the city every day, but also of other similarly situated social groups that could find in transportation a path towards greater social inclusion.


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


Transportation Research Part A Home Page: