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Old Posted Feb 12, 2021, 5:47 PM
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Why Women are Poorly Served by the Hub and Spoke Public Transport in English Cities

Why Women are Poorly Served by the Hub and Spoke Public Transport Model in English Cities


January 31, 2021

By Joe Peach

Read More: https://thisbigcity.net/women-poorly...ngland-cities/

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The hub and spoke public transport model found in most English cities provides direct, linear public transport routes connecting outer areas to a central hub. Arguments for this approach include that it requires fewer buses and is more cost effective than connecting every node individually. The desire or need to travel into urban centres from outer areas is representative of a societal norm where employment and recreational hubs are more likely to be in central areas and where housing is typically outside those areas. Hub and spoke networks typically run more services during commuting periods, getting people in and out of a central area and therefore better supporting a 9-5 working structure.

- The drawback of hub and spoke approaches is that bus users with mobility needs beyond moving between inner and outer urban areas at peak commuting times experience worse service. This mobility need is more likely to be experienced by women. --- Women are more likely to take shorter public transport trips than men, take multiple journeys as part of a larger route (‘chain trips’), travel for non-work reasons, and travel off-peak. Much of this can be attributed to societal roles. Women are more likely than men to take children to school, undertake household management tasks, and undertake care work. Women are more likely to spend time in part-time or lower-paid work and have lower incomes than men. Women are therefore more at risk of transport poverty – where journeys are unviable due to income, cost and availability. --- In England in 2017, a third more women than men traveled by bus. With public transport users in the lowest income group three times more likely to be bus users than public transport users in the highest income group, bus service operations disproportionately affect women. By definition, a hub and spoke model does not prioritise circular or circumference routes which connect outer areas with each other. With factors such as school and caring locations creating unique mobility needs for many women, the linear rigidity of a hub and spoke approach is not supportive.

- Bus services were deregulated and privatised across the UK during the 1980s. Services in English cities are today run by independent operators on certain routes, with freedom to change timetables, stops and other factors without consultation. While privatisation was intended to increase services through competition, in most instances this did not materialise. The need for profitability therefore influences operations, with unprofitable bus routes deemed socially necessary subsidised by local authorities. However, these have been impacted by austerity measures, with Local Authority funding for buses across England cut by 46% between 2010 and 2018. Outside of the English capital of London, which has a scale and density that makes a mesh-like bus network viable, thousands of routes have been lost. --- The dominance of financial consideration within a social service like public transport is an example of neoliberal thinking, prioritising free markets over government intervention. The lack of social consideration evident in neoliberal thinking could be seen as the reason for a public transport service which prioritises the hub and spoke operational model. The less uniform, predictable mobility requirements typical of women does not provide a predictable mass of bus users and is therefore not economically compelling.

- The lack of female voices among transport stakeholders could be a contributing factor. The CEOs of the 5 largest bus companies in the UK, responsible for around 70% of services, are male. Legislation to address gender inequality in the workplace introduced in 2017 means that each of these companies reports on gender pay gaps, however, only two have schemes to improve representation of women in leadership. Issues related to public transport in England are the responsibility of the UK Government’s Secretary of State for Transport. Since 1921, there have been 58 ministers in this role (or equivalent), 4 of whom were female. Despite privatisation of bus and rail, subsidies remain for both, equal in 2018 to £8 per person per year for buses and £249 for rail. It is conceivable that gender issues play a role in government decisions, with a lack of female voices in legislative decisions and leadership having an impact which disproportionately affects women. –-- Operationally, mitigating these issues could be straightforward. Inspiration could be found in cities where informal public transport operates unsubsidised, lower-capacity vehicles, running linear or circular routes in outer regions. Local Authorities could also adjust their definition, and funding, for socially necessary routes. However, these suggestions ignore financial issues and miss a foundational point. Bus users are more likely to be lower income, and women are more likely to have lower incomes. Care and household responsibilities complicate mobility needs, and women are more likely to undertake these responsibilities.

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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2021, 10:27 PM
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It really should be "People who are served poorly by the hub and spoke model are served poorly by the hub and spoke model." but as a journalist, if you put in the fact that a majority of those people happen to be women, your article will get more attention
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Old Posted Feb 13, 2021, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by jbermingham123 View Post
It really should be "People who are served poorly by the hub and spoke model are served poorly by the hub and spoke model." but as a journalist, if you put in the fact that a majority of those people happen to be women, your article will get more attention
Percent of women in the work force, in USA = 57.4%
Percent of men in the work force, in USA = 69.2%

https://www.catalyst.org/research/wo...united-states/
In 2019, there were 76,852,000 women aged 16 and over in the labor force, representing close to half (47.0%) of the total labor force.
57.4% of women participated in the labor force, compared to 69.2% of men.

So, 12% more women are not participating in the work force labor pool than men, and some blue nose somehow thinks a hub and spoke transit system discriminates against them? You have to be kidding?

There is almost as many women riding the transit system downtown for office jobs as there are men.
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Old Posted Feb 13, 2021, 2:39 AM
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Critical theory really is silly. They seek to see discrimination everywhere, and boy do they find it!

To be totally fair, there usually is a kernel of truth found that are important during these witch hunts. Women make more trips and make more non-work trips compared to men. So a hub and spoke system might not work as well for them nor headways that are lessened during just the rush hour times.

But then again, this issue is so small compared to others...like:

What now? Are you going to create more lines to create a more connective network just because of this one issue? Of course not. No one can afford shit right now. And that is ultimately the issue with these critical pieces, they complain about everything and have zero prescriptions that could be worked in the real world.
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Old Posted Feb 13, 2021, 6:48 PM
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Over the years using Mississauga's bus system, there have been times when I step onto a full bus and I was the only male on the bus. It's not the usual situation, but it has happened. So for journalists to suggest that females rely more on grid-based transit routes in the suburbs, I don't think it is so crazy. I have seen it first hand. It might also help to explain why many English metro areas have worse transit ridership than Canadian metro areas.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2021, 12:06 AM
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This argument may be a bit of a stretch. But, hub and spoke systems do leave a lot to be desired.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2021, 7:28 PM
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How else do you design a public transport system?

For direct point-to-point travel, there is now Uber. It’s more expensive because it’s less efficient. This is not a problem, let alone a matter of gender bias.
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Old Posted Feb 14, 2021, 10:18 PM
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I used to ride NYC buses with regular frequency, still ride occasionally, and there's definitely a skewed gender ratio. Ridership skews female. At least in NYC, this seems true regardless of race, age, or neighborhood.
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Old Posted Feb 15, 2021, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
I used to ride NYC buses with regular frequency, still ride occasionally, and there's definitely a skewed gender ratio. Ridership skews female. At least in NYC, this seems true regardless of race, age, or neighborhood.
i don't have statistics, but that's also been my experience in san francisco. i've always assumed this was for many reasons, including men being comfortable walking long distances alone, AM or PM, to get to faster transport lines, mean being macho and liking cars, men generally being a higher proportion at executive levels who consider their time too valuable to sit on the bus, and so on.

i highly doubt it's any kind of intentional bias, especially in a city like san francisco where every policy decision is agonized over from every possible point of view, but it certainly comes out as such!
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2021, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
How else do you design a public transport system?

For direct point-to-point travel, there is now Uber. It’s more expensive because it’s less efficient. This is not a problem, let alone a matter of gender bias.
You can do a grid rather than hub-and-spoke. I don't know how well you can overlay a grid of bus routes onto most British cities though. In North American cities it's usually pretty easy to do a grid, but there's no guarantee of ridership. There's kind of a minimum density required and a lot of US cities don't meet that.

Grids also create a multitude of transfer points all over the city, which are a lot harder to keep safe/secure/well-maintained than a few downtown transfer points. In Chicago, I imagine women riders are a lot more comfortable changing buses on State Street (downtown) than at 47th/Halsted or something.
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Old Posted Feb 16, 2021, 8:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mthd View Post
i don't have statistics, but that's also been my experience in san francisco. i've always assumed this was for many reasons, including men being comfortable walking long distances alone, AM or PM, to get to faster transport lines, mean being macho and liking cars, men generally being a higher proportion at executive levels who consider their time too valuable to sit on the bus, and so on.

i highly doubt it's any kind of intentional bias, especially in a city like san francisco where every policy decision is agonized over from every possible point of view, but it certainly comes out as such!
I imagine most of it is higher incomes allowing for higher car ownership rates. Plus traditional gender roles playing a role with a stay-at-home mom in a single vehicle household having to use the bus to get around during the day while the male partner has the car at work. Or whatever.

From my experience men are also typically more "confident" in their transportation choices. I know far more women who dislike or even fear driving than men, more men who prefer to cycle for the time savings and are comfortable cycling in traffic than women, etc.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 12:45 PM
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Deregulation of the bus market (outside of London) undoubtedly created a bit of a mess, a situation that is only starting to change. Yet whilst the article highlights legitimate concerns such as the lack of female representation, the majority of British cities and the amenities are built around the hub and spoke model. London has more orbital routes simply because of its size.

A far more pressing issue in my opinion is better quality paving and improved pedestrian and cycling experiences because relative to North America there are far higher numbers of people making these journeys. Car-free zones around schools and low-traffic-neighbourhoods are now starting to materialise, which whilst unlikely to help public transit use, will aid with increasing lower car usage.
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Old Posted Feb 18, 2021, 2:46 PM
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All of the sexism towards women in this thread is really hurtful to read.

Obviously you are all misogynists.
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Old Posted Feb 25, 2021, 2:50 AM
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I used to ride NYC buses with regular frequency, still ride occasionally, and there's definitely a skewed gender ratio.
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