Transit Stigma: Transit Administrators’ Views of the Role of Policy Elites in Perpetuating Stigma

Josephine K. Hazelton-Boyle, Gerard C. Wellman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Public transportation use is heavily stigmatized in the United States. As a result, those who depend on public transportation services for mobility are marginalized and subject to unjust social assumptions about their character, work ethic, and overall place in society. Prior research documents that public transit administrators are actively working to combat transit stigma in their service area; however, questions remain regarding how public transit administrators view the role of policy elites (elected or appointed political figures) in perpetuating transit stigma. Through a series of in-depth interviews with 20 transit administrators from across the United States, this research finds that policy elites maintain transit stigma through both formal and informal roles by devaluing the role of transit in society, focusing on short-term political goals, and restricting funding opportunities for public transportation agencies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-264
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Works Management and Policy
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • policy elites
  • public transit
  • social equity
  • transit administration
  • transit stigma
  • transportation

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