Phd. Malvika Dixit wins prestigious award with research in inclusive mobility

News - 23 May 2022 - Webredactie

Friday May 20, Phd. Malvika Dixit (Department of Transport & Planning) received the Young Researcher of the Year Award 2022*. The award ceremony took place during the International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig. This year's theme was inclusive mobility, which requires increasing attention on many topics, such as accessibility, gender, and income. Together with a team from Delft University of Technology, Malvika conducted research in Amsterdam into how income levels can determine the distance travelled and the fares paid on public transport.

Young Tae Kim (Secretary-General, ITF) presents Young Researcher Award winner Malvika Dixit (PhD Researcher, TU Delft) with her award at the Third Plenary "Inclusive planning and design for healthier cities" at the International Transport Forum’s 2022 Summit on “Transport for Inclusive Societies” in Leipzig, Germany, on 20 May 2022.

Fundamental link between income and circuity

During a doctoral analysis of the impact of detours – or network circuity – on how people choose public transport routes, she identified the potential relevance of detours on equity. The work explored disparities in travel times and fares paid by different travellers in the network due to detours and found that more circuitous itineraries mean that users travel a longer transport distance for the same “crow flies” distance, leading to increased travel times and greater fares, where these are calculated based on distance travelled. The study established a fundamental link between income and circuity: public transport users from predominantly higher-income areas have more direct routes, meaning shorter distances and, therefore, lower fares.

These effects combined to exacerbate the income disparity between the lower and higher-income areas. The results highlight the role of public transport network design in determining equity and emphasise the importance of considering equity during route and fare planning.

Useful results for practitioners and policy makers

Malvika: “I am very interested in working on problems that have societal impact. Winning this Award is a huge motivation to keep undertaking research which affects society at large. Such a prestigious Award will also provide visibility and exposure to this work specifically for practitioners and policy makers, meaning that it can be used by more people!”  Malvika, who is connected to Smart Public Transport Lab will finish her work at TU Delft after the summer. The research in this field will be continued within the SPTL.

Open science paper

The paper Examining circuity of urban transit networks from an equity perspective by Malvika Dixit, Subeh Chowdhury, Oded Cats, Ties Brands, Niels van Oort, Serge Hoogendoorn is a free download.

Read the full press release from ITF and watch the video Malvika's comment.

Research partners

Gemeente Amsterdam, Vervoerregio Amsterdam, GVB and AMS Institute

*ITF Award

Since 2008, the ITF Young Researcher Award honours young scientists under 35 years of age for research that supports sound transport policy-making. The award carries a prize of EUR 5.000.