Social exclusion and the public bus system in Santiago, Chile

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - stop, mode - bus, place - south america, place - urban, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - service improvement, planning - service quality, planning - signage/information, planning - surveys, policy - social exclusion, ridership - behaviour, ridership - disadvantage, ridership - drivers


Public transit, Factor analysis, Transportation disadvantage, Social exclusion


This research studies the relationship between transportation and social exclusion by observing the disadvantages faced by riders on the public bus transit system in Santiago, Chile. A qualitative stage consisting of four focus groups allowed us to identify different elements of the disadvantages that prevent the use of public buses. Afterward, a survey was constructed, obtaining a total of 512 valid responses. The sample selection criteria were stratified and non-probabilistic, following the exploratory research design, considering all districts of the city. We determined 8 dimensions upon factorial analysis: (1) safety, (2) service quality, (3) bus stops' infrastructure, (4) accessibility, (5) information, (6) drivers' behavior, (7) improvement in buses and (8) harassment. Together, these dimensions explained 58 % of the data variability. Although service quality and accessibility are the issues commonly highlighted in evaluations of the public transit bus service in Chile, this study shows that security is the dimension worst evaluated and presents a greater disadvantage. >50 % of riders had been unable to use public transit buses at least once, mainly due to safety concerns among women, young people, and the elderly. One relevant observation is the need to deepen transportation disadvantage research from a gender perspective.


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