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Ronald Flores

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This paper may only be accessed on the Connecticut College campus.


The findings identify the many issues, solutions, and social dynamics that are related to the fast changes Bordeaux has experienced over the last two decades. This is putting a strain on the housing stock, which pushes people without the means to the perimeter of the agglomeration, where transportation becomes less than ideal in some cases. As more people use their cars in the periphery, this created challenges to the planners to create new ways to convince people not to rely on their cars. For those who cannot afford to have a car in the first place, effectively connecting people across growing distances becomes a necessity. Transit has the ability to encourage equity, and this study focuses on Bordeaux, France’s efforts to reach this goal in the past, present and future. There is a strong focus on connecting people through railway projects especially, but there is also a growing interest in bus, biking, and pedestrian infrastructure. The city’s tramway was used as an “urban policy tool” (Sari, 2015) to connect the historically disjointed right and left banks. A major future project is a new regional railroad network which would respond to the growing popularity and spread of the city. The findings suggest that there is a hesitance to address social inequalities through transportation but focus on a universal narrative for improvements.

Bordeaux is a rare example of a city which is gaining transportation ridership and facing challenges to keep up with the demand. One phrase that is often used to describe their transit is a “victim of its success.” Their transit system is based on responding to social and economic demands for people most in need of mobility options. This has brought new unexpected social and economic consequences that are the focus of this study.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.