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Women, travel and the idea of 'sustainable transport'

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Women form an increasingly large proportion of both the populations of the US and of European countries. This, together with the changing role of women in modern society, has important potential implications for transport policy. Looked at from the micro level, women have different travel patterns from men, reflecting factors such as lower labour force participation, lower income levels, their traditional role in the family, the decision-making structure within households, the current age distribution and physical vulnerability. The situation is changing and this will have implications on transport demands. The female population is also, on average, getting older. Traditional travel modelling spends much time on modal attributes, such as speed and cost, but for many women this may not be the central issue. Security is often important. Standard traffic models only implicitly allow for gender (e.g. travel time is valued different from work and non-work trips). With the increased complexity of life styles and the growth in multi-purpose trips by women, the conventional approach to travel time valuation may need to be rethought. This paper looks at some of the emerging issues regarding women and travel and puts them in the context of the emerging ideas concerning sustainable transport.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Transport Studies Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK 2: The Institute for Public Policy, George Mason University, Fairfax VA 22030, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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