What does our transport system make us capable of?
In all countries the selection of a modal split, and how investment in transport infrastructure is directed, creates opportunities for some and not for others. But even for those it creates opportunities for it creates certain kinds of opportunities and closes down others. Inspired by a paper recently delivered in Melbourne on the impact of private car based transport systems on children and the rights of the child presented by Hulya Gilbert (University of South Australia), this paper expands work presented via poster presentation at the Melbourne Social Equity conference in 2014 (Sturup and Ahmed, 2014 unpublished). The paper explores the impact of private car based transport systems (such as are fully developed in Melbourne) on those capabilities defined by Nussbaum (2011) as essential to measuring an equitable and flourishing human life. In doing so the paper raises questions about the relative performance of car based transport systems in creating the kind of life that our various statements about human rights, and indeed the supposed benefits of car based transport, imply we are committed to creating.