The Surrey Board of Trade issued a letter to TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn, calling for immediate action to improve safety measures for women on public transit.
“To ensure that all women are part of the workforce, we need to address the needs of women on transit,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Women, in most cases, are the primary caretakers of their children, taking them to and from appointments, going to work, daycare, and school, and grocery shopping, which requires frequent trip chaining.”
To increase transit usage, women need to feel safe utilizing those modes of transportation. “However, we know this is not the case as women face the fear of harassment and assault while using transit. The Surrey Board of Trade has heard firsthand incidents of harassment and fear from our members while using transit. This fear of safety is not easily understood. Although men can also feel unsafe using transit, the concerns are different. A family-only compartment or area on a transit vehicle can potentially improve safety and make riders feel at ease and increase their willingness to use public transit,” Huberman wrote.
The Surrey Board of Trade and their Surrey Women in Business Team recommend that:
- TransLink research the transit needs of women and conduct a women’s safety audit;
- Ensure that the time for one fare during the day is extended to 3 hours, reducing the financial burden placed on women;
- TransLink implement a family-only cab, compartment, or section of a transit vehicle;
- More female staff be hired to provide a level of comfort for women; and,
- Install better lighting at all transit stops, and on all transit vehicles.