Women generally experience more forms of harassment than men and it’s costing us: Data from a new study shows that, on average, women pay more to get around New York City than men do due to safety reasons. Looks like there’s a Pink Tax on transportation, too.
A new study from the New York University Rudin Center for Transportation suggests that the median extra transportation cost per month for women, due to safety reasons, is between $26 to $50.
Over half of the women surveyed and only 20 percent of the men are worried about being harassed while using public transit. Forty-two percent of the respondents feel safest using for-hire cars (like a Via, Uber or Lyft) during late night travel, which is definitely much costlier than just taking the subway. The university found that:
Approximately 13% of female respondents said they dress differently, and 29% do not take public transportation late at night as a result of a perceived safety threat. In comparison, only 3% of male respondents dress differently and 8% do not take public transportation late at night for the same reason.
Conclusion: Women are more likely than men to change their behavior in order to avoid harassment.
The results of the survey conclude that using alternative modes of transportation at night for safety reasons adds to monthly travel expenses for women.
The monthly median extra cost for men because of safety issues is zero dollars.
Additionally, the university also found that because women make up the majority of caregivers nationally, they wind up paying over $75 more in travel expenses for caregiver trips, like taking kids to school and older relatives to appointments. It estimates that in New York City, female caregivers pay an extra $100 per month on top of regular travel expenses.
This all suggests that the Pink Tax—the extra amount that women pay for certain services and things, like dry cleaning and deodorant—also affects us when we travel.
NYU’s survey asked 33 questions and 547 people responded. It acknowledges that the results are not entirely representative of the entire city, however:
They include primarily college educated individuals—93.4% have a college degree or higher—and are geographically concentrated in specific areas of the city, including the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This is reflected in the subway line ridership results, which show unusually high ridership along the 1 line.
In light of these findings, NYU recommends improved safety, monitoring and reporting tools on public transportation, since an overwhelming majority of the women surveyed say that they don’t report harassment when it happens because “The notion of reporting everyday harassment to the authorities is bizarre to me. What would [the authorities] do?”
Additionally, women should head up transit station and safety system so safety can be built in from the beginning.
You can take a look at the detailed results here.