Income Inequality, Social Inclusion and Mobility Roundtable
Summary and Conclusions
There is significant evidence across countries that lower-income populations tend to suffer more from restricted transport options, have lower quality transport services available to them and travel under worse conditions (safety, security, reliability, comfort). Broad evidence also suggests that the lack of, or poor access to, transport options is central to limitations on access to jobs, educational institutions, health facilities, social networks, etc., which in turn generates a “poverty trap”.
This Roundtable report examines mobility policies with a focus on evaluating their capacity to address transport-related exclusion of lower income groups.
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Providing comprehensive, reliable, and affordable transport options should be an outcome of transport policy making. However, it is often the case that policymakers do not manage to reconcile all these objectives when developing transport solutions. In particular, many policies fail to provide affordable basic mobility options, hampering access to employment, services, and consumption for low-income populations.
A first challenge is for policy makers to better understand the distributive impacts of transport decisions. These are complex as many interdependent factors have to be taken into account. In addition, considering the ways in which policies in sectors other than transport are intertwined with accessibility and inclusiveness is needed for creating equitable transport systems.
A number of policy tools have been used to address social exclusion worldwide and better evaluation of their performance and outcomes under different conditions would help to build strategies that are more effective in promoting social inclusion. Finally, reconciling affordability with other policy objectives is essential but complex.