Transit Systems Must Address Women’s Safety Concerns

American transit agencies might be grossly undervaluing just how much security issues keep back ridership among women, according to brand-new research presented in Washington today.

A research study based in Los Angeles found women were significantly less most likely– about half as likely as men– to make the most of a brand-new railway near their house. Women are also more likely than males to report worries about crime connected with transit and say they expected it to influence their travel behavior.

The research study [”> PDF], presented at the Transport Research study Board’s yearly conference, was based on study research study of households in Los Angeles. About 200 families were surveyed prior to and after the brand-new Exposition light rail task opened.

Those who lived within a half-mile of an Exposition station increased their overall volume of rail transit journeys by 4.3 percent each week. There was a large gender space. For females respondents, it was just 2.7 percent.

Those who participated were also surveyed about their mindsets towards the environment and criminal offense. Environmentalism was a much weaker predictor of transit ridership than safety concerns, said lead author Hsin-Ping Hsu and her group. And concern about criminal activity was a statistically considerable predicator of decreased transit use among women.

“Fear of crime is a vital restrictor on women’s usage of transit,” Hsu wrote.

The research study group concluded that it may be more effective for transit companies to emphasize security messages instead of tension the environmental benefits if they wish to motivate ridership.

Other nations have attempted a variety of things to deal with the safety concerns dealing with females on transit, including explores women-only traincars in China. But as Hsu notes in the study, “in the U.S. … transit companies usually do not think particular programs should be executed despite recognizing this issue.”

In 2015, Oregon Rep. Peter Defazio, the new chairman of the House Transportation and Facilities Committee, presented legislation to require transit companies to protect riders and workers from sexual attack. The costs didn’t go anywhere. The Mineta Institute did a study on best practices resolving women’s security on transit. One measure they found was practical was allowing “ night stops” like they perform in Canada and Sweden. These policies allow women to ask the bus driver to stop at any area– including areas that are not posted bus stops– throughout nighttime hours. The motorist is supposed to enable just the female to leave at those stops.

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