Loukaitou-Sideris on Making Public Transit Safer

Urban Planning Professor Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris was featured in a Greater Greater Washington article about a proposal to temporarily ban people from public transit in Washington, D.C., if they are charged with sex or weapons offenses on the transit system. The Washington Metro’s safety board gave preliminary approval to the policy as a response to a significant increase in the number of reported sex offenses during the pandemic. In her research on harassment on transit, Loukaitou-Sideris has found that sexual harassment rates change based on environmental conditions. “Crimes like groping tend to happen in overcrowded buses or rail cars, while those committing indecent exposure tend to be emboldened when few people are around,” she explained. In one global survey, Loukaitou-Sideris found that 80% of women reported having been harassed on transit in the last three years. “That harassment, and fear of harassment, has real implications for mobility, particularly for women, LGBTQ folks and people of color,” she said.

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