Why Don’t We Ride?

Why don’t more people ride the bus? That’s a question Otis White took up in this week’s episode of Smart City, for which he is a regular contributor. You can find the piece about 22 minutes into the show (MP3, 19.3M).

White covers some of the class issues (middle class people ride rail but not buses – thankfully not completely true here in Portland). But he also cites an interesting study by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris from UCLA about why women don’t ride: lots of bus stops feel unsafe.

Here’s a website from Berkeley that discusses the report (PDF, 2.7M).

The report’s conclusions would also seem to indicate that the same issues would depress women traveling as pedestrians. The suggested mitigations:

  • Better maintain built environment (the “broken windows” theory)
  • Lighting
  • Get more “eyes on the street”
  • Remove negative land uses (adult book stores, etc. – more of a challenge in Oregon

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