RT 41 – Karen Lucas – Researching Transport and Social Exclusion

RT 41 – Karen Lucas – Researching Transport and Social Exclusion

Researching Transit – Episode 41

Published: March 2023

Keywords: Public transport, social exclusion, equity, transport disadvantage, transport poverty

Researching Transit continues in the United Kingdom, heading further north for this episode to talk with Professor Karen Lucas of the University of Manchester. Karen is Professor of Human Geography and Deputy Director at the Manchester Urban Institute. She is also the Director of Research in the Department of Geography within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED) and leads the Transport and Mobilities research Group (also in the Manchester Urban Institute).

Karen and Graham discuss the importance of transport in improving social inclusion, and Karen’s work as an academic advisor to policy makers and England’s Social Exclusion Unit. This included her involvement in the “Making the connections: final report on transport and social exclusion”, published in 2003 and available at http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/@ed_emp/@emp_policy/@invest/documents/publication/wcms_asist_8210.pdf. This report includes tools and policy recommendations for improving social outcomes related to transport and transit, and more generally given that this is a whole-of-government issue. 

Later in the episode, Karen talks about her recent work on social inclusiveness in public transport in developing countries. She outlines how the issues are generally the same as elsewhere, only more intense. Karen and Graham also discuss how the interest in the social inclusion field has grown significantly in recent years.

Towards the end of the episode, Karen and Graham discuss policies relating to transport subsidies in the UK. They contrast the lack of free transport for school children (outside of London) with the introduction of free fares after 9am for older people. Karen also outlines the need for integrated and inclusive geographical approaches in research and policy-making that take into account land use and social needs, rather than focusing on only ‘fixing public transport’.

Find out more about Karen and her work at:


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Music from this episode is from https://www.purple-planet.com

  • Date March 12, 2023
  • Tags Podcast