Photo: Jeffrey Zeldman via Flickr.
According to a new report, New York City women are spending an extra $26 to $50 a month on transportation because of safety concerns. An online survey conducted by the Rudin Center for Transportation at NYU asked New Yorkers about harassment on public transportation, if safety concerns impact their transit choices and about their travel habits in general (h/t AMNY). According to the results, 75 percent of females who responded had experienced harassment or theft while using public transportation compared to 47 percent of male respondents; over half of female respondents were concerned about being harassed on public transit; 29 percent of the women (versus 8 percent of men) said they don’t take public transportation late at night because of “a perceived safety threat.”
Sarah Kaufman, associate director of the Rudin Center and one of the report’s authors, said the survey hoped “to quantify” how harassment affects the experience and cost of commuting for women in the wake of the #MeToo movement: “Looking at it through the lens of a ‘Pink Tax’ is one way to determine how their need for safety impacts their economic standing,” she said, referring to the possibility of gender-based price discrimination. The report’s authors estimate that women spend an extra $26 to $50 monthly on transportation that isn’t subways and buses, while men don’t incur this extra cost.
The survey also found that 88 percent of respondents who those who experienced harassment on public transportation did not report the incident. According to the report, “Several respondents shared the sentiment that reporting the incident would have no effect.”
Though the MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, there is language on its website that encourages victims or witnesses of harassment to report the incidents. According to Kaufman, women who did report incidents experienced “a lack of sensitivity” from authorities. The report recommends that first responders be trained further on how to assist harassment victims and that security cameras be installed in train cars.
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