Public Transit's Gender Imbalance

Gendered Innovations, a Stanford University project devoted to gender analysis, has revealed that miscategorization has obscured the fact that women ride public transit much more than previously believed, and much more than men.

In the United States women 'chain-trip' much more frequently than men do, and these extended patterns of use are often lost in current data collection methods. "When both partners in a marriage work, women are twice as likely as men to trip-chain a child care task during their commute, and when the couple has a child under five, the amount of trip-chaining - and thus transport burden on women - increases."

Eric Jaffe explains that "once a transit system knows that 'care' trips make up a sizable proportion of daily travel, it can improve its facilities to accommodate these users - replacing stairs with ramps, widening aisles or gates, and raising platforms to train level, for instance, to aid women with strollers and bags. A recognition of the practice of trip-chaining can help designers plan system extensions of transit lines into areas high in care-related sites, like schools and parks. Systems can also conduct what the researchers call "gender audits" to evaluate their ability to meet the transport needs of female riders."

Full Story: Public Transportation's Hidden Gender Imbalance

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