Public Transportation Safety Among University Students
Research Team: Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris (lead), Madeline Brozen, Miriam Pinski, Hao Ding, and Fariba Siddiq
UC Campus(es): UCLA
Problem Statement: 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.
Project Description: The research team surveyed 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 established the extent to which fear regarding their safety affects college students’ transit ridership, and the research team examined how survey responses vary because of the students’ sociodemographic characteristics. This project allowed the research team to assess transit riders’ safety needs, and examine innovative policies that respond to such needs. The research team also interviewed transit operators in major California regions to identify their policies about transit safety, and how these have changed over the years.