Commuting inequality, role of urban structure, and identification of disadvantaged groups in the Mexico City metropolitan area

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - south america, place - urban, planning - surveys, ridership - commuting, ridership - disadvantage, policy - equity, land use - planning


Mexico City, job accessibility, Shen´s indicator, urban structure, commute


Cities in developing countries are undergoing a vigorous urbanization process marked by deep social and economic inequalities, which are reflected in transportation. This study analyzes one-way Average Commute Time (ACT) in the Mexico City Metropolitan Area, specifically regarding its spatial pattern in relation to the urban center and the differences between cars and public transportation. It also explores the urban structure drivers as well as the social dimension. Results show that ACT is lower for car drivers than for transit users. The curve depicting the relationship between ACT and distance to the center differs between private car and public transit, being semi-flat for the former and an inverted U-shaped curve for the latter. There is a higher spatial correlation for transit ACT than for car ACT. Based on the results from Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and spatial regression models, travel times from TRANUS transport model show that job accessibility plays a significantly inverse role in determining ACT for transit users and car users alike. However, this response is not consistent according to observed travel times from the 2017 Household Origin Destination Survey (HODS17). In regard to population groups, migrants and indigenous populations display significantly longer commute times, especially when using public transit, providing evidence that these groups are disadvantaged.


Permission to publish the abstract and link to the article has been given by Journal of Transport and Land Use, copyright remains with them.