This article provides a comprehensive review of developments in transportation research relevant to sociological inquiry about urban transportation and its consequences for urban structure, both spatial and social. Recent research has gone beyond initial observations about the linkages between transportation use and the spatial form of cities to further detail its impacts upon residential segregation, decentralization, and inequalities in mobility access. Historical case studies of local transit firms and politics, industrial organization of the transportation industry and its impact upon transportation policy, and national and local studies of the political economy of urban transporation have advanced a comparative research framework for understanding the institutional forces that constrain transportation choices and technical development. Finally, social psychological research, through laboratory experimental studies, field studies, and time-budget analysis, has just begun to examine the impacts of transportation upon social interaction in the family and community. This literature review concludes with proposed research questions for future investigations.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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