Women's Mobility via Bus Rapid Transit: Experiential Patterns and Challenges in Lahore

Citation:

Malik, Bilal Zia, Zia Ur Rehman, Ammad Hassan Khan, and Waseem Akram. 2020. "Women's Mobility via Bus Rapid Transit: Experiential Patterns and Challenges in Lahore." Journal of Transport & Health 17: 1-18.

Authors: Bilal Zia Malik, Zia Ur Rehman, Ammad Hassan Khan, Waseem Akram

Abstract:

Background: Women in developing countries experience greater restrictions in mass urban mobility. UN’s Sustainability Development Goals for 2030 recommend safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable public transportation, particularly for the vulnerable groups. Pakistan experiences rapid urbanization trends and considerably low ranking worldwide for gender equality. In addition, socio-cultural norms, higher dependency on public transport, lack of genderresponsive mass transportation, and harassment experiences limit women to explore potential growth opportunities.

Objectives: Since limited evidence exists on the subject, this study aims to investigate typical mobility attributes of women users of Pakistan’s first bus rapid transit (BRT) in Lahore, explore the challenges they face, and recommend measures for improved urban mobility.

Methods: Primary data include face-to-face interview-based questionnaire surveys along the BRT corridor to assess various quantitative and qualitative travel characteristics. Descriptive and cross-comparison statistical techniques were applied to obtain reliable results. Responses related to harassment were documented and evaluated. Graphical trends and pictorial evidences were also presented.

Results: Major segments of the study sample belonged to lower-income, relatively younger and middle age, students, employees and users with no or limited work. More prevalent modes to and from BRT stations were paratransit, including rickshaws and chingchis (motorbikes converted into rickshaws), followed by walking. Majority accessed BRT within 5 km, covered less than 15 km along 27 km BRT corridor, and traveled during daylight. Major challenges were harassment at stations and in buses (younger users being more affected), limited facilities for the elderly, lack of seating/waiting facilities near entrances/exits of BRT stations, limited dedicated space in buses and ticketing booths during rush hours.

Conclusion: The study highlights important typical mobility trends and difficulties of women while using Lahore BRT. Addressing women’s mass urban mobility issues could improve their educational and economic prospects. Findings could be useful for transportation agencies and practitioners to incorporate gender-sensitive measures in future BRT systems, particularly in developing countries. 

Keywords: women's mobility, bus rapid transit, gender equality, developing country

Topics: Economies, Education, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Infrastructure, Transportation, Urban Planning, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2020

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