Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Safety and Security How much it is safe for women to travel through public transport? Reply To: How much it is safe for women to travel through public transport?

Yash Tiwari
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Following the Delhi Gang Rape in 2012, the gap between men’s and women’s sense of safety became a national issue. The debate has since evolved to look at the underlying issues that create fear amongst women, instead of focusing on just extreme incidents of violence like rape. One of the key fears is how safe is it for women to use public transport. Women can be subject to sexual abuse even if they are driven in cabs by a driver or a male friend, or when using public transport like buses and trains. A majority of women surveyed said they would use public transport more if they felt safer. Almost 70% of women revealed they were likely to switch to cabs for the duration of their commute, while 78% claimed to avoid public transport during peak hours and would opt for an AC cab instead.

Public transport is sometimes the cheapest method of transport, although for women this tends to be less of a driver. For many, it is just as safe as private modes of travel, such as car and taxi. However, women may feel safer in private vehicles because they perceive the driver will be looking after their welfare, while services such as bus drivers and metro staff are not seen in the same way. The principal drawback with public transport is often seen to be in the frequency of services, especially late at night and this can also be compounded by lack of last-mile connections between home and another point or transport hub. Women’s safety has always been of top concern while traveling through public transport. So if they are to travel, it would be with the assurance that they are safe. It is up to us to ensure this. Public transport is a cost-effective way of traveling and hence remains popular among people, including women. Women are more prone to become victims of crime when traveling alone especially after sunset; hence infrastructure needs to be carefully planned.

Public transport is one of the major modes of travel in India today. While the growth in private vehicles has seen it offering competitive usage, public transport is still used far more to cover longer distances and beyond first or last-mile connectivity. However, more impressive has been the progressive increase in the share of women commuters using public transport. According to the report, women constitute about 60% of all trips made on public transport and this share is only expected to grow in the future.