The National Academies

TCRP B-53 [Active]

Addressing Travel Needs of Women on Public Transportation

  Project Data
Funds: $300,000
Staff Responsibility: Dianne S Schwager
Research Agency: Fehr & Peers
Principal Investigator: Nicole Waldheim
Effective Date: 11/10/2023
Completion Date: 1/10/2026


Since the 1970s research presented at domestic and international conferences has documented and addressed areas where the travel needs of women are distinct.  

An important conclusion from the research is that disparities and imbalances exist for women that impose burdens and limitations on mobility and access. To date, this awareness has not been widely translated into inclusive planning, policies, and practices to mitigate the burdens and limitations and to effectively address the travel needs of women. 

Recently some public transportation agencies, such as Los Angeles Metro, have initiated programs and a Gender Action Plan designed to: (1) raise awareness of gender differences in travel, (2) ensure diverse gender perspectives are considered in policies, programs, projects, and services, (3) address gender gaps in policies, programs, projects, and services, (4)  improve quality and accessibility of public transportation services for women, and (5) create measurable progress toward  gender gap goals.  Major barriers exist to effectively address the travel needs of women.


The objective of this research is to develop a practical resource for public transportation agencies, planning organizations, and their partnering organizations to (1) improve the travel experience of women and all travelers, (2) foster gender-inclusive decision-making, and (3) increase the use of fixed-route transit services, microtransit, on-demand services, and non-motorized travel connections. The resource should address more inclusive decision-making for all aspects of public transportation planning, operations, and capital investments.  

STATUS: The research is underway.

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