March 29, 2022

Planning Transit in Canada as if Women Riders Mattered: Transit for Women Survey

Last week Viewpoint Vancouver wrote about the study produced by the Technical University of Dublin researchers who concluded that addressing safety would boost the use of public transit by women.

Researchers at the  University of Alberta and Polytechnique Montreal have done a review of services across Canada and in the North about transit use by women. Eighteen public transit systems were evaluated from eight of Canada’s biggest regional areas.  Looking at women’s travel behaviour and increasing the numbers of women in public transportation were two  of the policy goals.

The findings were surprising-as in the Dublin study, women took many journeys associated with caring for others or for children. But in Canada many of those trips are not at the “peak” times associated with nine to five business hours, but were scattered throughout the day.  One of the prime findings was that to accommodate more ridership by women, the emphasis had to be on providing more frequency at “off-peak” times that are not associated with getting business workers to the office.

Working with transit planning industry advisors from Leading Mobility Consulting, research showed that women travel off-peak in mid afternoons, evenings and night, and also “trip chain”.

“Trip chain” refers to making multiple stops on the same trip. It was also found that women make shorter bus trips when caring for others.You can take a look at the video below which was produced with the City of Edmonton and the School of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Alberta that examines the issue.

One of their key findings was that women need to do more transit trips off-peak to business oriented “rush hours” and that transit needs to accommodate that more variable need for transit service. You can read the report here, and view the accompanying YouTube video on the work below.


image: strongtowns

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