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Fairness and Inclusion for Users of Surface Transport—An Exploratory Thematic Study for Irish Users

Ajeni Ari (), Maria Chiara Leva (), Lorraine D’Arcy () and Mary Kinahan ()
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Ajeni Ari: School of Food Science and Environmental Health, Technological University Dublin, Park House, Grangegorman, 191 North Circular Road, D07 EWV4 Dublin, Ireland
Maria Chiara Leva: School of Food Science and Environmental Health, Technological University Dublin, Park House, Grangegorman, 191 North Circular Road, D07 EWV4 Dublin, Ireland
Lorraine D’Arcy: School of Transport Engineering, Environment and Planning, Technological University Dublin, Park House, Grangegorman, 191 North Circular Road, D07 EWV4 Dublin, Ireland
Mary Kinahan: School of Management, Technological University Dublin, Aungier Street, D02 HW71 Dublin, Ireland

Sustainability, 2022, vol. 14, issue 11, 1-18

Abstract: This paper explores the conditions of public transport with respect to user accessibility, design of infrastructure, and safety from a gendered perspective. Our investigation aims to understand the factors that direct a citizen’s choice of whether or not to use public transport. Our discussion is focused on gender disparities among user experiences, so we confine our focus to that of women’s perspectives and their experiences with public transport use. A framework for our discussion was formed with consideration of the theoretical aspects of fairness, justice, and gender in transport, as well as user statistics. We identified several spaces where public transport policy planning and implementation may be improved in order to balance gender disparity of access, safety, and security across the gender divide. (We acknowledge that both distinct and interchangeable definitions of safety and security exist. In this work, we err to the latter, while also recognising from user-based qualitative data that safety concerns are not limited to infrastructure, but also relate to other unwanted sources of physical, mental, or emotional harm experienced within the transport system.) Primary among these was the necessity of both the acknowledgment and appreciation of the issues disproportionately experienced by women. A one-size-fits-all approach was found to ill-recognise the societal minutiae of constant caring responsibilities, income limitations, ability/disability, or the effects of past negative experiences faced by women. We conclude that improvements may be achieved by targeting and meeting actual, not just perceived need.

Keywords: fairness; justice; gender; public transport (PT); safety and security; accessibility; women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O13 Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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