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Gender and transport (SVI2004/013)

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Geo-spatial type
Project website
STRIA Roadmaps
Smart mobility and services (SMO)
Transport mode
Multimodal icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

Research about the usage of environmentally friendly means of transport and the motives for the choice of vehicle exist. However, gender related aspects are not considered. The following hypothesis, accompanied with data from the Microcensus and other sources, form the basis for outlining gender differences in travel behaviour and to determine the demand for in-depth gender studies:

  1. Women use environmentally friendly means of transport more frequently, either because they do not have a car at their disposal or because they do not have a drivers license (mobility constraints). Men choose environmentally friendly means of transport consciously.
  2. Environmentally friendly means on transports are only used as long as women and men live in the city and don't have any children. Once they move to the country they change their travel patterns in favour of motorized private transport or restrict their mobility. This change is not primarily related to gender but to the new role within the family.
  3. Men don't change their travel patterns according to the time of day. Women use environmentally friendly means of transport during the day, but in the evenings they use the car or stay at home. This is because of a lower subjective feeling of safety and not because of the travel purpose or the disposal of a car.

This preliminary study focuses on gender differences in travel behaviour, choice of means of transport and trip-chaining, what the main causes for these differences are and how changes of family status, job or location can influence travel patterns.


The use of the following methodological tools were used:

  •  Literature review
  •  Socio-economic and traffic-specific typing
  •  Clustering
  •  Expert discussions
  •  Hypotheses
  •  Evaluation of databases


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Swiss Government: State Secretariat for Education and Research
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


- Direct applicability in the context of transport planning and policy work and strategies
- Information on gender aspects of travel behavior for the MZ 2010
- Overall view of the deepening needs of gender issues in the transportation for further studies

Relevant person categories and topics were determined based on an analysis of previous research. The person categoriesconsider social diversity and consist of different attributes such assex, age,domicile, language region, household forms, occupationandsalary. The topicsmobility tools, traffic behaviourandmobility according to time of daywere evaluatedfurther within the study on the basis of the Mikrozensus 2000. For the topicschange of mobility behaviourandchildren and teenagersno further evaluationswere carried out. As a final step the gaps within existing research and further open questions were listed.

The influence of income, household form and language region on the possession of driving licences, but also on further mobility tools like car and bike availability, was evaluated regarding gender and age groups. Age combined with sex showed highly significant differences in all income classes, household forms and both language regions. Normally, men possess a driving license, a car and a bike more often than women. But the potential to mobility is influenced additionally by the language regions, the household form and the income. Thus, 26 to 65 year old men that live with in a family household possess a driving license more often than men, who live alone. These differences are explicitly smaller by 26 to 65 year old women. Men and women, who live with their partner without children, own independently of their age, more often a car, than any other category.

Within the topictraffic behaviour, person categories consisting of the aspects sex, language region, age, domicile, and occupation were combined with route purpose and choice of transport mode. Sex and age combined have statistically a highly significant influence on all examined aspects of traffic behaviour. Generally occupation has a big influence on the route purpose, which different strongly between unemployed people and people who work full or part time.

In previous research, it is often assumed that there is a clear difference between mobility behaviour of men and women, especially when it is dark. These studies, however, neglected age and a change in mode of transport in the evening. Own evaluations reveal that mobility between 7 p.m. and midnight differs


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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