Transit safety among college students

An international study

A sustainable city is a safe city, one that allows mobility without the fear of crime, victimization and harassment. A safe environment enables the fulfillment of basic human needs – and requires not only a safe dwelling but also safe public spaces and transit environments. In reality, both mobility and safety are highly gendered. Despite the fact that men are more often than women victims of reported crime while using public transportation (Morgan & Smith, 2006), women declare being more fearful than men (Ceccato, 2013; Dymén and Ceccato, 2012; Loukaitou-Sideris, 2015; 2016). A potential reason for this fear is the fact that women are overrepresented among victims of underreported sexual assault and sexual harassment while in transit (UN Women, 2017). Women’s anxieties translate into perceived lack of safety in many transportation environments. Additionally, more women are “captive transit riders” – having relatively less access to non-public forms of transportation, and being overly reliant on public transport (Ceccato 2017ab; Ceccato and Paz, 2017). If public transportation is not reliable, safe, and perceived as such, the mobility of its passengers is impaired. As a result, women may create strategies to address the risk of being a victim of crime by avoiding certain routes, neutralizing feelings of insecurity (Junger, 1987; Ball and Wesson, 2017; Lea et al., 2017), rescheduling the trip or bringing a companion (e.g. Keane, 1998, Jubainville and Vanier, 2017). Researchers argue that understanding gender differences in victimization patterns and perceived safety is essential, because it can help crime prevention specialists and policy makers determine the types of measures that are most appropriate for improving transit safety (Smith, 2008; Loukaitou-Sideris and Fink, 2009).

The study’s main objectives are to examine the nature, type and extent of victimization by gender among college students focusing on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the different city/country contexts as well as assess the travelers’ safety needs. This survey is part of an international study on college/university students in 14 cities (Sweden-Stockholm, USA-Los Angeles, UK-London, France-Paris, Italy-Milano, Brazil-Sao Paulo, Rio Claro, Mexico- Mexico City, Colombia- Bogota, Japan-Tokyo, Lagos, Nigeria, South Africa- Pretoria, Philippines-Manila and Australia-Melbourne) on six continents. The study’s main objectives are to examine the nature, type and extent of victimization on public transport, by gender among college students, focusing on sexual assault and sexual harassment in the different city/country contexts, as well as assess travelers’ safety needs. The results are expected to benefit safety efforts of public transport authorities.

If you are a college/university study in one of these cities above, please join us in a global study spanning 14 cities worldwide! Take a few minutes to answer the questionnaire and help us make public transport safer. It is essential that you are university student but you do not have to be a regular public transport user to participate in this survey. The result is reported in such a way that individual individuals can not be identified. Participation is voluntary and you are entitled to interrupt your participation at any time. Findings from the survey will be presented in the international conference on individual’s right to safe public places: “Crime and fear in public places: Patterns, challenges and actions” that is going to take place in Stockholm, Sweden, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden, 17-18th October 2018. Abstract submission is open from 1st May 2018. Welcome!

Project details

Coordinators (International Project)

  • Vania Ceccato , Professor, Department of Urban Planning and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris , Professor of Urban Planning; Associate Provost for Academic Planning, UCLA, USA

Stockholm Project

  • Vania Ceccato , Professor, Department of Urban Planning and the Built Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden

Link to questionnarie for students of KTH

Link to questionnarie for students of Södertons University

Other case studies

Innehållsansvarig:Vania Ceccato
Tillhör: Samhällsplanering och miljö
Senast ändrad: 2018-08-20