Transport giants must take responsibility for women’s safety. Innovators in micro-mobility now have the chance to radically change the way we move- through providing new sustainable, equitable and safer ways to travel.

The stark and unsettling reality is most women still don’t feel safe at night travelling A to B through London and other UK Cities. The legacy transport systems weren’t designed to suit the travel patterns, needs, preferences and lifestyles of most women in the past and still to this day. Addressing women safety through multi-modal and integrated travel is vital because protecting women’s rights to free movement is the foundation of any great city.

We are thrilled to announce we are doing this through our partnership with TIER Mobility. TIER Mobility approached Safe & the City when setting up in the UK to utilise our expertise in technology, mobility and women’s safety. Our critical research aims to bridge the gap of needed insights for transport operators, regulators and advocates to accelerate changes to improve women’s safety.

Our early findings of our surveys of women across London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Cardiff and found that:

  • 55% of women were worried about travelling through an unsafe area,
  • 52% were concerned about being stalked or followed by someone; and
  • 48% were worried about experiencing sexual harassment

The research also looked at the methods of transport women currently use to move around cities. While most women surveyed agreed that shared e-scooters are designed to suit women’s travel needs, the majority still currently navigate their city by public transport, in private cars or using taxi/ride-hailing services for trips up to 5km.

Other key findings, which may impact e-scooter uptake amongst women at night include:

  • Eight out of ten women (79%) want to park their vehicle in a well-lit area
  • Three quarters (72%) of women like to park where there is CCTV
  • Most women (81%) stated they prefer to take the safest route instead of the fastest

The final report from the surveys and interviews across the UK and German markets will be out before the end of 2021. These findings will help inform not only TIER Mobility, but TFL, London boroughs, York County Council and many more. This work is the first step in understanding and mitigating the possible safety barriers for women to help ensure e-scooters and integrated transport options can be safe and accessible for women travelling at night.

Georgia Yexley, Head of Cities UK and Ireland at TIER, said:

“It’s a serious but upsettingly unsurprising statistic that more than half of the women we surveyed are fearful of being in an unsafe area, or worse followed at night. Our project aims to understand what changes to the transport systems are needed to address current barriers head-on and help women feel safer.’

Jillian Kowalchuk, Founder & CEO, Safe & the City, said:

“We are proud to work with TIER Mobility, who recognised the business opportunity and societal impact they can gain by understanding and responding to women’s safety needs during their commutes. Night-time safety has considerable differences compared to daytime concerns, as reflected in our study. These variables need to be reflected in inclusive transport design to empower women to freely move and feel safe at any time of the day.”