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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Addressing Women’s Fear of Victimization in Transportation Settings A Survey of U.S. Transit Agencies


Past research has shown that transit passengers’ fears and concerns about safety influence their travel decisions. While the relationship between women’s fear of crime and public space has been the focus of considerable research, transit environments—which are especially threatening to female passengers—have received much less attention. This study examines the issue of women’s safety on transit through a survey of U.S. transit operators. The findings show that most respondents believe women have distinct safety and security needs, but most do not think agencies should put specific programs into place to address these needs. In addition, only a handful of agencies currently have programs that target the safety and security needs of women. This survey suggests that there is a significant mismatch between the safety and security needs and desires of female passengers and the types and locations of strategies that transit agencies use.

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