Would Single-Gender Transit Be a Good Idea in the U.S.?

Mexico City has launched a new experiment aimed at reducing physical harrassment of women on its crowded transit system: women-only buses and trains. Single-gender transit ...
by | February 12, 2008

Women_subway_2 Mexico City has launched a new experiment aimed at reducing physical harrassment of women on its crowded transit system: women-only buses and trains.

Single-gender transit isn't really a new idea. Women-only subway cars and buses have appeared in recent years everywhere from India and Brazil to Japan and Egypt.

Is this an idea ripe for importation?  I take D.C. public transit very frequently, and I don't really perceive that this is a huge problem.  On the other hand, I'm not a woman, so I really can't say.

On The Nation's blog (thanks, DCist!), blogger Jessica Valenti brings up one potential unintended consequence:

What happens when a woman is groped - or worse - in a train car that isn't women-only? Will she be blamed for not taking advantage of the "safe" space provided? (After all, women are all too used to being blamed when it comes to assault, questioned as to why they were out on their own/wearing a short skirt/drinking.)

If we're going to make women safe, let's make them safe everywhere - not just in designated areas.

What do you think?  Do women-only buses sound like a good idea for U.S. cities?  Or do they merely skirt (ahem) the real issue?

Photo via Flickr, from Daniel Merle

Zach Patton  |  Executive Editor
zpatton@governing.com  | 

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