Making Public Transit Fairer to Women Demands Way More Data

Good article - great call out of work being done by @sverhulst

What is not measured is not known, and the world of transit data is still largely blind to women and other vulnerable populations. Getting that data, though, isn’t easy. Traditional sources like national censuses and user surveys provide reliable information that serve as the basis for policies and decisionmaking. But surveys are costly to run, and it can take years for a government to go through the process of adding a question to its national census.

Before pouring resources into costly data collection to find answers about women’s transport needs, cities could first turn to the trove of unconventional gender-disaggregated data that’s already produced. They include data exhaust, or the trail of data we leave behind as a result of our interactions with digital products and services like mobile phones, credit cards, and social media.

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There is some great work at NYU Rudin Center on the topic. They call it the Pink Tax. See https://wagner.nyu.edu/rudincenter/2018/11/pink-tax-transportation-womens-challenges-mobility .

From the article:

Public transportation is sexist.

Researchers have spent decades studying the mobility habits of women and frequently find that transport systems are ill-suited to their needs.

“Most transport systems were explicitly designed for the solo male commuter,” says Jemilah Magnusson, a spokesperson for the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a nonprofit that works with cities to promote sustainable transport solutions. Transit schedules are mostly designed to accommodate 9-to-5 workers, resulting in longer wait times for anyone travelling outside peak hours. Many subway stations lack elevators to carry strollers from curb to platform.

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