Monday, 26 November 2018

Women, Public Transport and Barriers

In Europe, more women than men use public transportation and fewer women than men own cars. In Sweden, for instance, 70% of cars are owned by men and 82% of men have a driving license versus 69% of women. In the Netherlands, men are 1.5 times more likely to own a car then women. In France, two-thirds of people using public transport are women.

It is not only the quantity that differs, there also seem to be "typical" travel patterns for women no matter if they live in developed or developing countries. Usually, women's activities are more complex due to their so-called double duties. Hence, they travel more often, at shorter distances, more often at off-peak hours, less after dark, with a greater variety of destinations, and show trip chaining behaviour ("a series of travel segments that follow one another and are anchored by the home and place of work").
According to research, there are various barriers women have to face creating two main categories: a) physical barriers (e.g. mobility while carrying small children, strollers or packages) and b) concerns about personal security (e.g. bus stops outside residential areas or in remote neighbourhoods).
Since the 1980s, transport planners in some countries have taken into consideration the importance of the personal security of passengers, especially women. In Toronto, a “Request Stop” service was launched in 1980 for the hours after dark, allowing a woman to ask the bus driver to stop along the route where it is more convenient for her to get off, not necessarily at the bus stop. This was done to shorten her walk between bus and destination. This service was also adopted in Montreal in 1996 and later in British cities.

- Hasson, Y. & Polevoy, M. (2011). Gender Equality Initiatives in Transportation Policy, download
- photographs by Vivian Maier via and via


  1. ... and the photos, again!

    1. I'll never get tired of Vivian Maier. Many, many thanks for dropping by, Sam!