young woman sitting alone on subway

Fighting Back Against Harassment on Public Transit

A Governing article about a Bay Area Rapid Transit campaign to deter sexual harassment on public transportation cited research by Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, professor of urban planning and interim dean of UCLA Luskin. The BART program was designed and developed by young people of color to encourage people who witness sexual harassment on trains and buses to discreetly intervene. Loukaitou-Sideris has led extensive studies of sexual harassment in public places, which she describes as an “omnipresent and consequential” phenomenon. Public transit environments can be uniquely conducive to harassers engaging in unwanted verbal and physical abuse, her research has found. Crowded vehicles provide both proximity and anonymity, while empty vehicles or stations can be unsafe for other reasons. The BART campaign includes circulating cards saying, “I got you” and “You got me?” It also encourages ways of showing support including standing with the person who is being harassed, texting BART Police or contacting the train conductor.


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