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Towards an equitable transport system in Kuwait: understanding the social and cultural context of transport accessibility

Adeel, Muhammad and Alfahad, Reem (2021) Towards an equitable transport system in Kuwait: understanding the social and cultural context of transport accessibility. LSE Middle East Centre Kuwait Programme Paper Series (14). LSE Middle East Centre, Kuwait Programme, London, UK.

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Transport is increasingly considered an essential public good as it enables access to services and opportunities spread unevenly across the built environment. The provision of an efficient and accessible public transport system enables access for all and is more conducive to the goal of equitable and sustainable development. This study used a mixed method approach to build a comprehensive analysis of the current accessibility landscape in Kuwait. The first component examines the spatial equality of access to the public transport system across Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti residents in the Kuwait Metropolitan Area. This study also particularly explores the various social and cultural factors contributing to individual mobility behaviour in the specific Kuwaiti local context. First, the geographic information system (GIS) based spatial analysis indicates that overall accessibility levels to bus stop locations generally remains poor across the city. While spatial access is a common problem, the social issues of class, identity and choice limit the access and mobility of the general population. By conducting four focus group discussions and six in-depth interviews with different city residents, the study finds that the non-driving population is far more transport disadvantaged due to additional issues of safety, social status and stigma associated with the use of buses in the Metropolitan Area, and this disadvantage falls more heavily on women of all ages and abilities, and on non-Kuwaiti men. The poor quality public transport networks are not able to fulfil the requirements of the Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti population. Only the ‘captive riders’, who are largely foreign labourers, use buses for day-to-day mobility. The study concludes with various policy suggestions for making the transportation system equitable and responsive to user needs.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Middle East Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 20 Dec 2021 08:36
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:55

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