Los Angeles, CA (March 2, 2022) — Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez introduced a motion, that was seconded by Councilwoman Nithya Raman, Councilman Joe Buscaino, and Council President Nury Martinez, to address gender inequities in the transportation system in Los Angeles. The motion is in response to the study by Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) “Changing Lanes: A Gender Equity Transportation Study.”
The study suggests that historically and globally, transportation systems have largely failed to incorporate the unique interests and experiences of women in the design process. Despite accounting for the majority of transit ridership, women in Los Angeles must navigate a system that is rife with challenges and often unresponsive to their needs.
“The motion introduced builds on my work since taking office to provide safe, accessible and affordable transit options for all riders in my district, especially women,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez. “Women, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) women, must navigate a system that is unresponsive to their needs. It is crucial for public safety and public transit equity that we invest in programs that address their needs and bring equitable transit to the communities who need it most.”
“Public transit is unsafe for women and it’s not a new issue—it’s something I have been working on for years,” said Council President Nury Martinez. “Last year I worked with LADOT to launch a first-of-its-kind pilot program in my district that focused on making our transit systems safer and more accessible for women. I’m glad that our City is continuing to build on this work and making the safety of LA’s women a priority.”
“The belief that all Angelenos get around by car is an assumption that comes at the expense of those who don’t — primarily low-income, BIPOC women. The voices that represent an outsized percentage of transit riders are left unheard in the design process, and as a result, their safety, economic health, and accessibility are compromised,” said Councilmember Raman. “Striving to be a leader in equity means striving for a transportation system that is responsive to the needs of those who rely on it.”
“The data from LADOT’s Changing Lanes Study showed us that communities like Watts need strong public transit systems more than other neighborhoods,” said Councilmember Joe Buscaino. “Watts residents reported perceptions of danger at night, fear of crime, and poor sidewalk conditions as barriers to getting around at higher rates than the other three pilot neighborhoods in the study and out of the three neighborhoods, Watts lacks the most in basic on-street infrastructure like crosswalks, bus shelters, and signalized intersections. By pursuing equity in our transportation investments the City can make up for the historic lack of investment in neighborhoods like Watts and bring immediate relief to residents who need it the most.”
|“When women in Los Angeles do not have access to transportation that meets their needs, they suffer; the ones who depend on them suffer; and we suffer as a City,” said LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds. “Our gender equity report is a foundation for intentional action to provide safe, affordable, and dignified travel options to support women, which supports everyone.”|
The study focused on underserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles and found consistent patterns of gender inequities, economic disenfranchisement, and barriers to safe and accessible transportation, particularly for BIPOC women. The motion directed LADOT to address four goals: provide new options to support the way women travel; support trip chaining and multi-modal travel, improve safety while traveling; and prioritize experiences, perspectives and the needs of low-income BIPOC communities, particularly women, when developing mobility solutions.
The report should address programs in existence or under development that address the four goals. In addition, LADOT is instructed to report on ways each goal can be addressed or developed into a program and the resources needed to implement programs that address the goals.
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Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which include the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.