Only 9% of women in Indian cities feel public transport is completely safe, while 3% claim it is completely unsafe, according to a report titled ‘What Do Women and Girls Want from Urban Mobility’.
A majority of women claimed that public transport is somewhat safe and found it unsafe only at nights, as per the report. As many as 35% of women felt most city roads are dark, and only 7% felt that their cities had seamless footpaths.
Over 9,000 women from across 11 cities were asked about the current state of mobility in their cities in a survey conducted by Ola Mobility Institute. The findings revealed that 59% of women used public transport like buses, trains and on-demand taxis, despite over 80% claiming that they felt somewhat safe using it during the day, but not at night. The key factor driving public transport use among women was affordability, with around 40% claiming this to be the main reason. Other reasons were coverage, frequency, safety and comfort.
One of key issues raised by women was the lack of last mile connectivity with over 77% respondents stating that it needed to be improved. The report noted that majority of the respondents (80%) lived within a 15-minute walk to the nearest public transport, but only 35% chose to walk, while others used shared transport or personal vehicles to cover the distance. The report also noted that women had to wait at least 15 minutes on an average for buses, trains and metros, which could be effectively reduced by providing real-time information of the time of arrival.
Nearly three-quarters of all women surveyed highlighted the need for dedicated footpaths, while 57% pointed out existing footpaths that were not usable as they were either discontinuous or encroached. Lack of road lighting was a key factor behind feeling safe, with 40% women stating only major roads were well lit.