Report: How L.A.'s Transportation System Fails Women

According to an LADOT study, the city's women face disproportionate barriers in accessing safe, efficient transportation.

August 11, 2021, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Los Angeles Subway

Robson Hatsukami Morgan / Unsplash

A study from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation "reaffirms what many already experience: navigating Los Angeles is often more complex, dangerous and inaccessible for women," reports Ryan Fonseca. According to the study, "women continue to face sharp disparities stemming from their socio-economic status in society. Women continue to be responsible for larger shares of household and care-related duties and are overwhelmingly the victims of harassment and sexual assault compared to men."

"The report outlines a variety of transportation-related barriers faced by women in the neighborhoods that were studied, including safety concerns, lack of trips for recreation and distance from key destinations." These challenges include "a lower rate of access to driver’s licenses, smartphones and computers," safety concerns, and more responsibilities for dependents such as children and elders.

The study's authors recommend improved, more representative data collection processes, "inclusive infrastructure," enhanced transit service, and "expanded access to cars in underinvested communities." 

In communities lacking reliable public transportation, cars are an essential means of accessing economic opportunities and critical destinations like schools, health clinics, day cares, and grocery stores. Equitable approaches to increasing car access should improve access to driving among those who most stand to benefit, while managing the driving of the heaviest polluters.

The report highlights the need to center equity in future transportation planning efforts and "prioritize resources in low-income communities of color, which have been subject to generations of disinvestment."

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