Tackling transport poverty: a priority on the road to a just, sustainable and inclusive European mobility

The European Mobility Week is an awareness-raising campaign on sustainable urban mobility. It promotes behavioural change in favour of active mobility, public transport, and other clean, intelligent transport solutions.

But what about those who cannot access transport? At Ecoserveis we are exploring the concept of “transport poverty”.

Although it is broadly conceptualised with indicators of usability, accessibility and affordability of public transport, one of the challenges identified is the lack of a clear and agreed definition of transport poverty.

Intersectionality is a characteristic of transport poverty as it collides with other spheres of life. It is important to highlight the interrelationship of transport poverty with climate and energy policies or energy poverty. In fact, future energy transition policies will be closely linked to transport and will therefore affect transport poverty in a very direct way. Also relevant is the particular impact on women or the fact of living in rural areas with less access to public transport.

Although transport poverty has already been identified as a concept, it is necessary to obtain more data, carry out more detailed analyses and develop specific indicators that can relate different technical, economic, social and environmental dimensions.

At Ecoserveis we have been working on the topic from different perspectives such as the Just Mobility project where we work on how inequalities affect the mobility of the most vulnerable groups.

We are also involved and contributing to the debate on a future European definition of transport poverty that will allow us to design transport policies that favor a dignified life for all people, regardless of their gender, socio-economic, demographic or geographical context.

There is a clear need to save energy through sustainable mobility, but it is also a priority to ensure accessible and inclusive transport for all.