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Leveraging Big Data to Understand Women’s Mobility in Buenos Aires
World Bank
2024.01.10
While the travelers’ gender has not been a central consideration driving urban mobility planning, increasing evidence points to gender-differentiated mobility preferences and behaviors. This paper explores this topic in the context of the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area, aiming to identify policy relevant differences between the mobility of women and men. It does so by leveraging mobile phone?based data, combined with existing household travel survey data and an original large-scale interception survey implemented in late 2021 and early 2022. The paper provides descriptive analysis of key spatial and temporal mobility patterns as well as implements statistical analysis to identify whether gender represented a key determinant of mode choice in the context of the pandemic. The analysis finds that women in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area travel less, tend to have shorter individual trips, and are much more likely than men to travel during off-peak hours, including due to disproportionately taking on “care mobility” responsibilities. In terms of mode choices, women represent the majority of public transport users and are more likely than men to say they would cycle. However, women’s share among public transport users and their actual cycling and walking appear to be spatially correlated with, respectively, the availability of public transport services and dedicated, safe infrastructure. The travel responses to the pandemic documented in the original survey data also suggest that women are more likely than men to switch from public transport to private motorized modes as soon as their incomes allow them to unless appropriate health safety measures are put in place.