Theses Master's

Gender-Responsive Mobility Planning: Evaluating Considerations of Women’s Mobility in New York City Transportation Planning

Mullen, Chelsea

Although gender identity is critical in shaping individuals' travel habits in urban environments, women's mobility patterns are largely overlooked in urban transportation planning and policy. While transportation systems are often portrayed as neutral, in reality, they reflect and perpetuate existing inequities, particularly across gender lines. Women, men, and gender diverse New Yorkers experience the city differently due to various factors, including accessibility, safety concerns, costs, and caregiving responsibilities. This thesis aims to illustrate the differential mobility patterns of women in New York City and explore opportunities for New York's transportation planning to adopt gender-responsive practices.

Grounded in feminist scholarship on gendered mobility experiences, the analysis examines how existing transportation data and a gender-responsive mobility survey implemented for this research validate academic understandings of women's unique mobility patterns. I conclude that there is a pressing need for transportation agencies to capitalize on New York City’s recent investments in gender equity and advocate for the inclusion of gender-responsive mobility in citywide equity investments. I also recommend adopting data collection methods that explicitly account for gendered mobility patterns, requiring an integration of qualitative and quantitative data collection to capture the complexities of women's travel experiences. To support this objective, I propose improvements to existing data collection methodologies and a gender-responsive impact assessment tool to evaluate the gender inclusivity and responsiveness of transportation data collection methods. Additionally, I advocate for greater gender diversity within the transportation planning workforce to encourage the promotion of gender-responsive transportation policy.

Geographic Areas


This item is currently under embargo. It will be available starting 2025-06-01.

More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Stiles, Jonathan E.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
June 26, 2024