Study: Only 35% women feel access routes to Metro stations in Mumbai are safe
As many as 602 metro users and 703 non-users were interviewed for the gendered ridership count surveys at five key metro stations
Mumbai: 35% of women commuters and 38% of men commuters travelling on the city’s first Metro corridor between Versova and Ghatkopar purchase their tickets or cards through digital modes, reveals a study conducted to gauge differences in the travel preference of men and women.
The study further revealed that 78% of women prefer the women’s coach, associating it with safety rather than convenience. Only 35% of women felt that access routes to the stations are safe compared to more than 50% of men who felt perfectly safe on the same routes.
The study was released by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) on Monday under the Gender Inclusive Future Transport (GIFT) project, an initiative supported by the United Kingdom (UK) government in collaboration with World Resources Institute India (WRI India) that researched the differences in the travel needs of men and women.
The study was conducted between October 2021 and March 2022 along the Mumbai Metro line 1. As many as 602 metro users and 703 non-users were interviewed for the gendered ridership count surveys at five key metro stations and an audit of accessibility to the metro from a gendered perspective were conducted in 10 metro stations.
The MMRDA in a statement said that the report will inform the agency’s gender strategy, including the need to continuously collect gender-disaggregated data. MMRDA is also aiming to increase the number of women working in metro operations including station controllers, security staff, ticketing personnel, etc. The learnings from this study will help the authority improve on the two Metro corridors it opened partially on the Dahisar and Andheri route a month ago.
The study said, “About 76% women and 64% men reported having travelled with dependents on the metro and would want priority access at the ticketing and security along with reserved seating while travelling with dependents.”
SVR Srinivas, IAS, Metropolitan Commissioner, MMRDA, said, “MMRDA holds great pleasure in incorporating data related to gender mainstreaming into Mumbai Metro’s data tool. This will radically change the agency’s ability to understand and serve the needs of women. Through this initiative, MMRDA’s Metro Line 2A and 7 is well equipped to ensure inclusive growth for Mumbai.”
The study also revealed, “Women who take the metro to work spend 21% more money on a trip than men. The reasons include expensive or multiple mode choices owing to a shortage of time, a sense of personal safety, accompanying dependents, and undertaking multiple activities in the same trip (trip chaining). However, among non-users, 69% of women stated that higher fare rates are the primary reason for not using the metro.”
Harshita Jamba, senior project associate, Sustainable Cities and Transport, WRI India, shared, “When a city’s transport system works well for its women and children, then, it works well for everyone. We are thankful to the metropolitan authority for its vision and leadership in adopting an evidence-based approach to making the Mumbai Metro more appealing and accessible for women. This is a vital step towards strengthening our public transport and inclusive mobility for all.”
Meanwhile, on the digital mode of payment, the study added that excluding homemakers, the digital uptake of women is marginally higher than that of men. 65% of homemakers go to the counter every time they have to purchase a ticket. More than 80% of homemakers who use the metro said that flexibility in cost and duration would encourage them to use the cards.”