Lina Olsson

New funding for research project on public transportation and human rights

Adriana de La Peña Espinosa New Research Project public transport

IUR member Lina Olsson and Ren Thomas from Dalhousie University have been awarded a research grant by K2, The Swedish Knowledge Centre for Public Transport, for studying the integration of human rights into public transportation planning and urban mobility policy. Olsson will be the PI for this one-year research project, starting in January 2024.


Access to public transportation is a fundamental component of social and economic inclusion in society. However, in many cities and regions worldwide, transportation systems reflect deep-rooted inequalities and discrimination. Yet, much of the transportation research focuses on functional aspects (e.g., travel demand, financing, fare pricing, and transport capacity) without considering how these relate to equity issues. Over recent years, transport researchers, transportation activists, and advocate groups have emphasized the importance of addressing equity and justice in transport planning (e.g. recognition of different needs, democratic participation in transport planning, and restorative justice measures for equal distribution of accessibility). While the research on transport equity and justice is expanding, the relationship between public transportation and human rights (HR) remains a subject that warrants comprehensive exploration and better understanding. This minor research project explores how HR-based approaches to public transportation deal with equity and justice in public transportation planning and urban mobility policy. The project analyzes how public transportation is integrated into globally emerging urban HR policies, frameworks, and strategies, focusing on Human Rights Cities.