Author: Dr. Jean-Paul Rodrigue
Transport geography is a sub-discipline of geography concerned about the mobility of people, freight and information and its spatial organization considering attributes and constraints related to the origin, destination, extent, nature and purpose of movements.
The unique purpose of transportation is to overcome space, which is shaped by a variety of human and physical constraints such as distance, time, administrative divisions and topography. Jointly, they confer a friction to any movement, commonly known as the friction of distance (or friction of space). In an ideal world, transportation would come at no effort in terms of cost and time and would have unlimited capacity and spatial reach. Under such circumstances, geography would not matter. In the real world, however, geography can be a significant constraint to transport since it trades space for time and money and can only be partially circumscribed. The extent to which this is