Research Team: PI: Madeline Brozen, Miriam Pinski Team:
About this project:
The research team will survey college students in 16 cities in six continents to examine their patterns of mobility and transit, with an emphasis on their feelings of safety on public transit and other transportation modes, experiences of sexual harassment, and other types of crime and victimization on public transport and other transportation modes. The results of the survey will establish the extent to which fear regarding their safety affects college students’ transit ridership, and the research team will examine how survey responses may vary because of the students’ sociodemographic characteristics. This project will allow the research team to assess transit riders’ safety needs, and examine innovative policies that respond to such needs. The research team will also interview transit operators in major California regions to identify their policies about transit safety, and how these have changed over the years.
What problem does this research aim to address?
Transit use is on the decline in many American cities. Research has shown that concerns about transit safety may influence travel behavior and transit use, and that women are particularly fearful about victimization while travelling. Studies have also shown that women are also very concerned about one type of crime — sexual harassment — which often goes unreported, and thus remains largely invisible to transit operators.
What are the expected impacts and benefits of the research?
Findings from the surveys with students and interviews with transit operators, as well as comparisons with the survey findings of our international partners, will provide rich material for the compilation of policy recommendations for making public transit safer for college students – an outcome that may help increase transit ridership among students. The study results are expected to benefit both safety and equity efforts of public transit and transportation professionals in college campuses, in California, and in cities around the world.