People rely on transportation every day to access food, work, and social activities. Transportation insecurity—the lack of regular access to adequate transportation—can therefore cause significant disruptions to livelihoods. Understanding how people experience transportation insecurity in metropolitan areas may contribute to building better transportation systems and help formulate ways to alleviate persistent and underlying transportation issues. In this study, the researchers interviewed San José residents who experience transportation insecurity to better understand their experiences and identify the major ways that they cope with lack of adequate transportation. The researchers then used inductive techniques for thematic text analysis to identify patterns major themes in people's experiences and coping strategies. Findings suggest that people experience transportation insecurity as excess time consumption through congested traffic, convoluted travel schedules, and service complications, which causes worry, anxiety, and missed opportunities due to wasting or losing personal time. Overall, people's experiences and reactions allude to what could be improved in San José’s transportation infrastructure.

Publication Date


Publication Type



Planning and Policy, Sustainable Transportation and Land Use, Transit and Passenger Rail

Digital Object Identifier


MTI Project



Travel Time Reliability, Travel Congestion, Travel Cost, Anthropology, Urban Areas—City & Towns


Other Anthropology | Transportation | Urban Studies