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Women are amongst the biggest users of public transport in India, a report by World Bank said. As per the report, 84% of women's trips were estimated to be by public transport.

The report,' Enabling Gender Responsive Urban Mobility and Public Spaces in India', also noted the travelling pattern of men and women travel. As per the WB report, more women tend to walk to work compared to men. Highlighting factual information, the report said that 45.4% of women go to work by foot versus 27.4% of men.

This report was compiled to guide Indian cities on how to design public transport that is more inclusive of women's travelling requirements.

More women also travel by bus and are likely to consider affordability into account when travelling, the report said, adding that they often choose slower means of transport since faster modes are more expensive. Lack of safety also deters women from stepping out, reducing their presence in public spaces, the report mentioned.

The toolkit has been designed in response to a 2019 World Bank-supported survey of 6,048 respondents in Mumbai. This survey found that between 2004 to 2019, men shifted to two-wheelers to commute to work, while women used auto-rickshaws or taxis, which tend to be more costly (per trip) than two-wheelers.

It contains practical tools that can inform a wide set of policymakers as well as private or community-based organisations to help ensure safe and inclusive public spaces and public transport for women in India.

The report said that Indian public transport services are not traditionally designed keeping in mind women's safety. Therefore, this has resulted in fewer women going to work. India has amongst the lowest female labour force participation rates globally, at 22.8% in 2019-20.

Further, the report recommended several interventions in transport and public spaces, including adequate streetlighting, and improved walking and cycling tracks that particularly benefit women who are big users of non-motorised transport. The report said that devising lower fare policies can boost ridership for women and persons of other genders. A strong grievance redressal system can help fast-track sexual harassment complaints, it added.

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