The issue of equity is high up the agenda in the ITS world, and that is reflected in the Congress programme. Ensuring that all communities have access to transport services, and that a variety of perspectives are included in the ITS industry, are urgent topics here.
“Transportation is all about human rights: you connect people to amenities, to opportunities,” Mehri Mohebbi, transportation equity program director at University of Florida Transportation Institute, told Daily News. “If some communities are not considered when plans are being made then we are missing a large part of the equation.”
ITS America has convened a global forum today – the invitation-only Gender Equity & Transport Workshop – on the importance of empowering women in transport in order to empower all women.
In a session yesterday called Advancing Women, Advancing Transportation, Jannet Walker-Ford, market leader, transit & rail at WSP USA, cited a survey which said that women were three times more likely than men to worry about their safety when on public transit: service reliability, trip planning, station ambassadors and ‘good old CCTV’ can all help, she said.
Reflecting on the industry’s change of emphasis, Bonnie Crawford, general manager, Umo Mobility at Cubic Corporation, told Daily News: “In transit we’ve been focused on the system – not on the service, the communities we serve. The previous way of focusing on just the mechanics of mobility was leaving swathes of people behind.”
“We have done things wrong for so long,” concludes Mohebbi. “But you can start doing things differently at any time: it’s never too late.”
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