The Roots of Racialized Travel Behavior

A proposed conceptual framework of travel behavior, centering race and racism as explanatory factors


Transportation inequities, particularly in the United States, result in part from historical and contemporary racism in planning, policy, urban development, decision making, and societal institutions. They have limited the mobility and access to opportunity for Black, Indigenous, and people of color, and shaped the ways that they travel. This chapter reviews the literature on racial and ethnic identity in travel behavior, examining the history and claims of transportation injustice. The chapter explores the barriers that historically marginalized communities experience as a result of disproportionate policing, safety and security issues, and neighborhood othering and belonging—that is, inviting suspicion because a person appears to be “out of place” in a neighborhood. It concludes by making the case for why transportation planners must consider race and racism explanatory factors in travel and why race-neutral planning processes exacerbate disparities.

Advances in Transport Policy and Planning: Social Issues in Transportation
Jesus M. Barajas
Jesus M. Barajas
Assistant Professor of Environmental Science and Policy