Updated: Jun 10
The travel behaviors of women in Ireland are a lesson for all of us! This article refers to the report from Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) called "Travelling in a Woman's Shoes" published in July 2020 by Rachel Cahill, Kelly Saunders & Lean Doody which can be found here
This extensive report ("Travelling in a Woman's Shoes") is an excellent piece of work addressing the needs and travel behaviors of women in Ireland. I shared the results with my wife and my daughter and was impressed to see they felt the same needs, wishes and worries, particularly in regards to the safety aspects.
Although these stories are at a local tiny level, the message given by these Irish women is universal and speaks to all of us.
For those who (like me!) are enthusiastic about new mobility concepts (car sharing, multimodal transportation, connected cars, Electric Vehicles, Autonomous Driving, micro-mobility, “15 minutes city”…), we always face the risk to build castles in the air. I recommend that you go beyond the summary/key findings to read the life situations of these women and you will touch the ground for sure:
How can we promote cycling as an alternative without taking into account the need to care for a baby, grandparents, or disabled family members?
How can we encourage ride-hailing and public transport without considering the risk of sexual harassment?
How can we consider multimodal mobility solutions without thinking about daily stressful situations (fear to be late to an appointment, need to rescue a family member in an emergency…)?
How can we talk about “last mile” journey home without any regard for the scariness of our infrastructure for pedestrians (obscure tunnels, poor street lighting, unfriendly places…)?
My takeaway from this research is that we will be successful in this mobility revolution if women take the lead and develop solutions to tackle the issues raised by these Irish women. Their engagement will enable us to implement appropriate alternative mobility solutions for women, which will stimulate as a second step the rest of the population to embrace this transformation.
Another takeaway is that the implementation of these mobility solutions needs full integration of new technologies, infrastructure and behaviors; therefore it will require a strong cooperation between OEMs, new tech companies, software developers, transportation/energy private actors, and infrastructure designers, policy makers and public authorities.
If we all decide to “wear woman’s shoes” to embark in this fascinating journey, can you imagine how far we could go in the Mobility Revolution?
(first published on Linkedin on January 29th, 2021)