Social and Spatial Equity/Equality in Relation to High-Speed Trains: Lessons from Turkey’s High-Speed Train Experience

Baş A., Delaplace M.

TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH RECORD, vol.2677, no.8, pp.291-310, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2677 Issue: 8
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/03611981231156592
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, ICONDA Bibliographic, Metadex, Pollution Abstracts, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.291-310
  • Abdullah Gül University Affiliated: Yes


High-speed trains (HSTs) tremendously changed the choices in transportation modes in the 20th century in Japan and in Europe, while the 21st century has been characterized with ongoing and future extensions to the HST networks of developing countries. Developing countries are characterized by income inequalities, and thus the issue is to learn who uses HSTs. If HSTs are only viable in the wealthiest regions, then HSTs will induce spatial inequity. If HST travel is too expensive, then HSTs will induce social inequity. Numerous studies have explored the relationship between HSTs and equity, but these studies have mostly covered economically developed countries, with an inadequate number of studies being found for economically developing countries apart from China. As such, the aim of this article is to fill the gap in the literature by analyzing the case of Turkey’s HSTs. The study presents a literature review on HSTs and the issue of equity, then uses Turkey’s socioeconomic development index [SEGE] to make comparisons in terms of HST service accessibility based on different social groups, ages, and occupations. Ticket price and accessibility indicators are used to figure out how HSTs can be a tool for decreasing accessibility inequalities. The results indicate HSTs to not necessarily reinforce the existing accessibility inequalities in Turkey. The case reveals HSTs in Turkey to be a tool for improving equity through HSTs’ ticket pricing policy in Turkey, their willingness to serve numerous cities all over the country, and the way HSTs are used in terms of different groups.