Monday, April 22, 2024

Understanding and Responding to the Transit Needs of Women in Canada

Researchers at the University of Alberta, Polytechnique Montréal, and transit planning industry advisors from Leading Mobility Consulting examine women’s travel behaviors to inform equitable data collection methods, transportation planning, and public transit policy. Researchers also reviewed policy materials of 18 public transit systems in Canada’s eight largest metropolitan areas to learn how they plan and operate transit service for women.

The study revealed the majority of riders on public transit are women who tend to travel more often at off-peak times (mid-afternoons, evenings, and late at night) to trip-chain — making multiple stops on the same trip — and take shorter trips with the purpose of serving others. All of these behaviors have implications on how public transit could be designed to work better for its users. Policy implications of the study include a deeper investigation of women’s travel behaviors, exploring novel avenues for gender-based data collection, and increasing the number of women employed across all levels of the public transit sector.