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Women travel greener but are more concerned about reliability of new transport technologies

Women show more support for environmentally friendly transport modes
Women show more support for environmentally friendly transport modes
Sep 25 2019

Women are more willing to use environmentally friendly transport modes but they are more risk-averse than men and tend to use new technologies only once these are fully operational, reveals a new JRC report which assesses women's role and gender equality in transport.

The European Union has set a target to reduce transport emissions by 60% by 2050.

The decarbonisation of the transport sector and a shift towards low-emission mobility requires everybody to be on board.

But transport is not gender neutral, confirms the JRC report which looks at the role of women in transport based on data from the European Commission's Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS).

Women's mobility and transport behaviour is very different from men, and women are currently under-represented in transport sector jobs. 

Accounting for only 22% of transport workers, women's requirements are less likely to be taken into consideration in the design of transport systems in the first place.

Research shows that while men travel further for work, women make a higher number of short trips during a day and spend less time on travel.

Women tend to have more non-work related trips, travel off-peak hours and use more flexible transport modes.

Transport safety and security are key factors in women’s mobility choices, especially with regard to public transport.

Women are more willing to limit their car use than men and show more support for environmentally friendly transport modes.

They are also more positive towards measures to reduce car use, such as improving and expanding public transport.

At the same time, women tend to have a lower willingness than men to use fully automated vehicles because they perceive higher risks from these technologies and are more skeptical about their readiness and reliability.

The report emphasises that future low carbon mobility options should recognise women’s transport needs to avoid further gender gaps.

And not only. Policies supporting greener mobility are likely to benefit women in terms of increased mobility options leading to better labour market participation and social inclusion.

The report supports the implementation of the Commission's Strategic Transport Research and Innovation Agenda (STRIA).

STRIA is part of the "Europe on the Move" package, which highlights main transport research and innovation (R&I) areas and priorities for clean, connected and competitive mobility to complement the 2015 Strategic Energy Technology Plan.

It is a follow up to a conference organised in 2015 by European Commissioners for transport and for employment, to discuss the most pressing social issues in transport and two additional workshops that addressed the ways to attract more women to the transport sector.

The JRC report was presented at the 6th International Conference on Women’s Issues in Transportation (WIiT 2019), which took place on 10-13 September 2019 in Irvine, California.