Transportation’s 'Pink Tax' Is a Cost Burden on Women

When women don’t feel safe using transit, they use other modes and end up paying the price.
November 13, 2018, 1pm PST | Camille Fink
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Yanping Nora Soong

A new report from New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation says women in New York City travel differently because of harassment and safety concerns on public transit and, as a result, spend more on monthly travel than men.

When women choose to use alternative travel modes, particularly at night, the added cost results in a “pink tax,” according to the report. Researchers found the median extra travel cost ranged from $26 to $50 a month.

“The cost burden falls even more heavily on people who take care of children—and research suggests that about three-quarters of the people doing that today are mothers,” reports Aarian Marshall. In addition to the challenges of traveling with children or elderly relatives, caregivers spend an additional $26 to $50 on travel. 

“The most worrying question is this: What opportunities are women missing because they can’t get around the city safely or cheaply?” asks Marshall. The report offers various recommendations, including improved transit and for-hire vehicle safety, better training for first responders, and more women in leadership positions in transit agencies.

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Published on Monday, November 12, 2018 in Wired
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