Our transport systems need to become more inclusive. There is an inherent male bias in mobility. It is often assumed that the primary reason people use public transport is for commuting to and from work, right? Wrong. That’s the main reason for male travelers.
The world over, many studies have shown that women’s and men’s travel patterns and transport needs and behaviours differ greatly. Our public transport systems have predominantly been designed and shaped by as well as for what I refer to as ‘Reference Man‘, a representation that exemplifies the male perspective. Consequently, women consistently bear the brunt of this gender bias and face numerous disadvantages.
Female mobility is often characterised by what is known as trip-chaining, a practice that involves combining multiple trips in a single journey. This frequently results in additional costs and time poverty for women, adding further challenges to their daily lives.
Mobility has a male bias. You might have thought the main reason people use public transport is to go to and from work right? Wrong. That’s the main reason for male travelers.
Compared to men, women tend to:
👶Travel with dependents
🔄Undertake chained trips
⏰Travel during off-peak hours
↔️Undertake more frequent mode changes
💼Cover shorter distances to go to the workplace
⛔️Value flexibility, convenience and safety very highly
📍Travel shorter distances (limited geographical area)
🚲Use public transportation as main mode of transport
💰Pay extra costs for trip-chaining/safety, aka ‘Pink Tax‘
🏠Engage in more non-work-related travel for household/chores
If we genuinely aspire to create inclusive and equitable mobility systems within our cities, it’s imperative that we address and accommodate the unique experiences of female mobility. This means that we need to design transport systems that reflect and cater to the specific needs and preferences of women. and care takers.
To delve deeper into this topic and gain a comprehensive understanding of how women navigate through transportation differently, I highly recommend exploring the invaluable resource provided by the World Economic Forum: Women move differently – what everyone working in mobility should know.