Gender and Rail Transit Use: Influence of Environmental Beliefs and Safety Concerns


Hsu, Hsin-Ping, Marlon G. Boarnet, and Douglas Houston. 2019. "Gender and Rail Transit Use: Influence of Environmental Beliefs and Safety Concerns." Transportation Research Record 2673 (4): 327-38.

Authors: Hsin-Ping Hsu, Marlon G. Boarnet, Douglas Houston


Research suggests that gender influences attitudes toward both the environment and safety. While pro-environmental attitudes might encourage transit use, safety concerns might discourage transit use if the transit environment is perceived as unsafe. To quantitatively examine how gender, environmental beliefs, and safety concerns jointly affect transit use, we analyze results from a longitudinal quasi-experimental study which conducted pre- and post-opening travel surveys near a new light rail transit service in Los Angeles. We find that the influence of safety concerns on transit use is more prominent than that of environmental attitudes, particularly for women. Living closer to a new light rail transit station correlates with an increase in train ridership. This effect, however, is significantly lower for women. The results suggest that to foster transit use, reducing personal safety concerns related to transit may be more effective than increasing public awareness of transportation-related environmental issues, especially for attracting female riders.

Keywords: gender, transit use, environmental beliefs, safety concerns, quasi-experiment

Topics: Environment, Gender, Women, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2019

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