Designing public transit at the margins
Author(s)Jacobsen, Adriana(Adriana M.)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning.
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Boston's public transportation network, the MBTA, is a "hub-and-spokes" system: rail lines radiate out to the suburbs from a few central downtown stations, and traveling between the "spokes" often requires taking multiple buses or traveling all the way inbound in order to transfer. Particularly on the bus and Commuter Rail systems, off-peak service is limited. For those who live in the suburbs and commute to the city during rush hour, this setup works relatively well. However, many women that depend on public transportation face unique difficulties. Women are more likely to make care-related and household-sustaining trips such as grocery runs and dropping off and picking up children from school, to make multiple trips in a row (trip-chaining), and to feel unsafe on public transit. Understanding the limitations that transit-reliant women face can help to build a more comprehensive public transit system that supports all types of trips and improves public transportation for everyone, following the theory of "designing from the margins." Using data from a survey I conducted of almost 200 women in the Boston area, I examine some of the issues and obstacles that these women face when using public transit, suggest some design guidelines for new transit infrastructure, and imagine how the MBTA could change to accommodate the travel patterns of the women surveyed.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, May, 2020Cataloged from the official PDF of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 58-60).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.