A new study has found troubling evidence that women in New York City pay a premium on public transportation to ensure their safety.
The report, conducted by New York University’s Rudin Center for Transportation, found some startling discrepancies between how men and women get around the city.
The financial impact of sexual harassment
Women are spending more money on transportation to avoid uncomfortable or dangerous situations. Instead of using mass transportation, women are opting for safer, more expensive options.
The study showed that on average, a woman in New York City spends between $25 and $50 more on transportation a month. That adds up to an extra $300 - $600 dollars a year.
Worse still, 75 percent of women said they experienced theft or harassment while using NYC public transportation. That’s compared to 47 percent of men.
This has led women to spend more money on private transportation methods, like Lyft and Uber, instead of relying on NYC’s public transit. With the more expensive private option, women hope to avoid the uncomfortable and dangerous situations they find while using buses or trains.
The pink tax effect
This extra burden means women of all backgrounds are unable to move as freely about the city as men.
It creates extra costs and missed job opportunities or experiences. Women may turn down jobs because they cannot afford to safely travel there. They may avoid going to a concert because it ends late. This is another way sexual harassment can affect individuals.
While there is no one solution to this kind of problem, there are some improvements the city can make. Training NYC transit staff how to recognize and deal with forms of harassment could be a good first step. Another suggested improvement is maintaining well-lit transit areas.
More women serving in the transit workforce could also help, as they currently make up just under 40 percent of employees. More women mean more people who recognize these situations for what they are and can step in to stop them.
Fighting back against sexual harassment
The cost of transportation is just another way sexual harassment can impact a person’s life for years afterward. If you or someone you know has been subjected to sexual harassment, fight back.
The right attorney can help hold the person accountable for their actions, and get you the compensation you deserve.