The Geography of Transport Systems


The mobility of passengers and freight is fundamental to economic and social activities such as commuting, manufacturing, distributing goods, or supplying energy. Each movement has a purpose, an origin, a potential set of intermediate locations, and a destination. Mobility is supported and driven by transport systems composed of infrastructures, modes, and terminals. They enable individuals, institutions, corporations, regions, and nations to interact and undertake economic, social, cultural, or political activities. Understanding how mobility is linked with the geography of transportation is the primary purpose of this textbook.

The Geography of Transport Systems offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the field with a broad overview of its concepts, methods, and areas of application. This material is provided to practitioners, policymakers, educators, researchers, students, and individual learners and includes a wide variety of media elements such as maps, figures, and PowerPoint presentations.


The textbook is divided into ten chapters that cover a specific conceptual dimension of transport geography, such as networks, modes, terminals, and urban transportation. In addition to these conventional topics, emerging issues such as globalization, supply chain management, information technologies, energy, and the environment are also thoroughly discussed.

Chapter 1 – Transportation and Geography

Chapter 2 – Transportation and the Spatial Structure

Chapter 3 – Transportation, Economy and Society

Chapter 4 – Transport, Energy and Environment

Chapter 5 – Transportation Modes

Chapter 6 – Transport Terminals

Chapter 7 – Trade, Logistics and Freight Distribution

Chapter 8 – Urban Transportation

Chapter 9 – Transport Planning and Policy

Chapter 10 – Challenges for Transport Geography

Appendix A – Methods in Transport Geography

Appendix B – Applications and Case Studies

Appendix C – City Logistics

Since transport is a field of application, using methodologies is particularly relevant to assist transport operators in allocating their resources (investments, infrastructure, vehicles) or influencing public policy. Appendix A focuses on qualitative and quantitative methodologies linked with transport geography, such as accessibility, spatial interactions, and graph theory. The convergence between methodologies and information technologies has led to many new analytical opportunities, notably geographic information systems for transportation (GIS-T).

Transportation is a very active field of investigation and application to real-world issues, which are covered in Appendix B. In particular, the field of city logistics, which combines unique characteristics of transport geography adapted to the urban context, is covered in Appendix C.

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  • Information cited from this web site should be referred to as: Rodrigue, J-P (2024), The Geography of Transport Systems, Sixth Edition, New York: Routledge.
  • Inquiries: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue.

Notice To Consultants

Over the years, some of the contents of this website have been plagiarized, often without attribution, by consultants (and professionals) in reports and presentations covering various sectors of the transport industry. Maps and figures have been a particular target. This does involve not only small firms or individual consultants but also large globally recognized firms. This is highly unethical since it involves stealing someone else’s work while being remunerated. A common practice in the consulting industry is to steal and adapt the work of academics and present it as original material. Consultants, please keep in mind the following:

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  • Consultants wishing to use some graphic elements contained in this web site, please contact me. For a reasonable fee, I can provide customized maps and graphics for unlimited use (I am also a consultant).
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