How Cargo Bikes Can Help Women

Cargo bikes have proven an effective transport mode in cities around the world, but American women still hesitate to use them, citing safety concerns.

1 minute read

July 25, 2022, 6:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

An article from Women Mobilize Women asks, “can cargo bikes close the gender mobility gap?”

“With vast gender differences impacting mobility choices, urban planners and researchers have been working to uncover workable solutions for closing the gap and ensuring women have the same transport opportunities as men.” Because women are more likely to ‘trip chain,’ cargo bikes can provide a useful option for transporting children, groceries, and other other household needs.

As the article explains, “The bikes’ added capacity for carrying kids, pets, or groceries makes trip chaining by bike easier, especially with newer bikes outfitted with e-motor capabilities. As their use has spread, they’ve proven to be an effective means of closing the gender mobility gap for women.”

The article provides examples from Zambia and Ghana, where cargo bikes have become an effective transportation tool for women. “Still, safety concerns and limited infrastructure has hindered uptake in the US, leaving cities there well behind the rapid growth seen in European cities. As much as cargo bikes can make trips via pedals a viable alternative to cars, women’s safety concerns especially around cars drove hesitancy.” 

The article attributes this to a lack of comprehensive, safe bike infrastructure. “Women have shown themselves interested in alternative forms of mobility; now it’s up to officials to integrate them into the community.”

Thursday, July 21, 2022 in Women Mobilize Women

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