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Study: Crime Concerns Cause Transit's Gender Gap

A new study of transit use in Los Angeles finds safety concerns are keeping women off of public transit.
January 17, 2019, 12pm PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Hernán Piñera

"American transit agencies may be grossly underestimating how much safety issues hold back ridership among women," reports Angie Schmitt.

Schmitt is broadcasting the findings of new research presented at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting this week.

"A study based in Los Angeles found women were significantly less likely — about half as likely as men — to take advantage of a new rail line near their house," explains Shmitt. "Women are also more likely than men to report fears about crime associated with transit and say they expected it to influence their travel behavior."

Hsin-Ping Hsu from Tamkan University in Taiwan, Marlon Boarnet from the University of Southern California, and Douglas Houston, from the University of California, Irvine, completed the research, which is available to download as a word document.

The researchers surveyed about 200 households and after the Expo Line light rail project opened in 2012. "Those who lived within a half-mile of an Expo station increased their total volume of rail transit trips by 4.3 percent per week," explains Schmitt. "But there was a large gender gap. For women respondents, it was just 2.7 percent."

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Published on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 in Streetsblog USA
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