Justice and transportation decision-making: The capabilities approach

Ravit Hananel*, Joseph Berechman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transportation literature has long addressed issues of social justice. And yet, justice considerations have traditionally played only a marginal role in transportation decision-making, such as those regarding investment in a new infrastructure project. Considerations of justice stress the plight of disadvantaged populations and thus aim to further equality between groups and individuals, especially equality of opportunities and mobility. But how can such considerations be derived from theories of justice and fairness in ways that make them applicable to real-world situations? In this article we offer a new framework for incorporating justice considerations into decision-making association with transport service provision. Our analytic framework is based on the capabilities approach developed by Sen and Nussbaum. After explaining the essence of this approach, we show how transportation allocation criteria can be derived and then incorporated into de facto decision-making. Finally, we provide a real-world example of the implementation of this approach in the provision of transportation services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-85
Number of pages8
JournalTransport Policy
StatePublished - 2016


  • Capabilities approach
  • Justice considerations
  • Transportation policy
  • Transportation, Decision-making


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