Gender Differences in the Perception of Safety in Public Transport

34 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2019 Last revised: 2 Apr 2020

See all articles by Laila Ait Bihi Ouali

Laila Ait Bihi Ouali

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Daniel J. Graham

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Alexander Barron

Imperial College London

Mark Trompet

Imperial College London

Date Written: November 13, 2019

Abstract

Concerns over women's safety on public transport systems are commonly reported in the media. In this paper we develop statistical models to test for gender differences in the perception of safety and satisfaction on urban metros and buses using large-scale unique customer satisfaction data for 28 world cities over the period 2009 to 2018. Results indicate a significant gender gap in the perception of safety, with women being 10% more likely than men to feel unsafe in metros (6% for buses). This gender gap is larger for safety than for overall satisfaction (3% in metros and 2.5% in buses), which is consistent with safety being one dimension of overall satisfaction. Results are stable across specifications and robust to inclusion of city-level and time controls. We find heterogeneous responses by sociodemographic characteristics. Data indicates 45% of women feel secure in trains and metro stations (respectively 55% in buses). Thus the gender gap encompasses more differences in transport perception between men and women rather than an intrinsic network fear. Additional models test for the influence of metro characteristics on perceived safety levels and find that that more acts of violence, larger carriages, and emptier vehicles decrease women's feeling of safety.

Keywords: Gender; Safety; Public Transport; Metros; Buses; Customer Satisfaction; Behavioural Responses

JEL Classification: R41; D9; O18

Suggested Citation

Ait Bihi Ouali, Laila and Graham, Daniel J. and Barron, Alexander and Trompet, Mark, Gender Differences in the Perception of Safety in Public Transport (November 13, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3486514 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3486514

Laila Ait Bihi Ouali (Contact Author)

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Daniel J. Graham

Imperial College London - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering ( email )

Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Alexander Barron

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Mark Trompet

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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