“I just don't go nowhere:” How transportation disadvantage reinforces social exclusion

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, policy - equity, policy - social exclusion, ridership - disadvantage


transit disadvantage, social exclusion


Building on Blumenberg and Agrawal's (2014) study of the transportation survival strategies employed by low-income people, this study finds that not only do transit disadvantaged individuals employ adaptive strategies for living without reliable personal transportation, but that these strategies may work to reinforce their social exclusion and marginalization, locking them out of opportunities that would be available to them if all their travel needs were met. Focusing on the experiences of transport disadvantaged residents in a Chattanooga, Tennessee, the authors discuss the literature on transport disadvantage and social exclusion, present the case study and methods, discuss the findings and conclude with implications for policy and further research. This study contributes to the literature on the relationship between transport disadvantage and social exclusion by expanding the conceptualization of social exclusion itself, and related concepts like spatial mismatch. This work adds to the breadth of our conceptualization of transportation equity and how policy not only impacts one's opportunity structure, but shapes how they respond to that opportunity structure.


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


Journal of Transport Geography home Page: