STV Leads L.A. Metro Gender Action Plan to Improve Women's Transit Experience
May 6, 2021
STV, a leading transportation planning, design, and program/construction management firm, has been selected by The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) as the prime consultant to prepare a first-of-its-kind study of the needs of female riders throughout Metro’s public transportation system.
Metro’s Gender Action Plan (GAP) is being conducted in partnership with TransLink Consulting, Fehr & Peers, OhanaVets, and the University of California, Los Angeles. It will build upon Metro’s 2019 study, “Understanding How Women Travel,” to identify specific changes within all parts of the system.
A key discovery of Metro’s study found that the majority of bus and rail riders in Los Angeles County are women. To that end, the GAP aspires to better position Metro to meet the needs of its largest segment of riders. Additionally, the GAP is among the first in the nation to recommend systemwide changes to improve the transit ridership experience for women.
“With Metro’s GAP setting a precedent, gender equity in transit will be a standard for system planning, design, and implementation, and no longer a consideration after the fact,” said Ali Mir, ENV SP, STV vice president, West Region planning director and interdepartmental coordinator on the project. “Successfully delivering this GAP for LA Metro will allow STV and our partners to bring lessons learned and best practices for establishing and maintaining gender equity in transit to systems across the country.”
The 2019 study’s core findings revealed that women in Los Angeles who use transit tend to make multiple, shorter trips to run errands during off-peak hours. They also more frequently require accommodations for family members in strollers and wheelchairs.
The GAP will explore ways to update transit vehicles, modify stops and stations, and make operational changes to transit routes. The plan also will address riders’ concerns related to safety and fares.
Currently, the project team is conducting an analysis of existing policies, best practices, and staff feedback. Throughout 2021, community workshops are planned to solicit input from the general public. The GAP is anticipated to be published in early 2022.
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