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Friday, March 9, 2012

Celebrating Women in Sustainable Transport [The City Fix]



A woman enjoys a cycle lane on Ahmedabad's Janmarg system. Photo by Meena Kadri.
Today is International Women’s Day, dedicated to the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Women have made much progress in society, but there are still many injustices and inequities to tackle, especially in the realm of transportation.
In 2007, for example, the Manhattan Borough President’s Office found that 86 percent of public transportation riders who said they had been sexually assaulted did not report it to the police. Granted, women are not exclusively the victims of sexual assault, but women do comprise the majority of this group.
There is also a gap between what women need to be safe on public transportation and what policy and practice are willing to do. For example, a nationwide survey of transit agencies in the U.S. led byAnastasia Loukaitou-Sideris and supported by the Mineta Transportation Institute found that while two-thirds of respondents believed that women travelers have some specific needs, only one-third felt that transit agencies should really do something about it. But even worse was that only 3 percent of the agencies had any programs directed at women. (Just to note, the survey targeted general managers and the heads of security, and 75 percent of the respondents were men.)

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